Andrei Arlovski is coming home.
The former UFC heavyweight champ has reportedly signed a new fight deal that will bring him back to the UFC.
Bleacher Report was able to confirm the signing of Arlovski when reaching out to the UFC on Thursday. The UFC didn’t provide any specific details regarding the nature of the contract, but more details are sure to come.
UFC President Dana White also tweeted on Thursday night, welcoming the former champ back to the promotion:
Welcome back Andrei Arlovski!— Dana White (@danawhite) April 24, 2014
Shortly after the confirmed signing, MMA Fighting reported that there have already been preliminary talks about possibly matching Arlovski against Brendan Schaub in his UFC return, but nothing has been finalized as of yet.
Arlovski, who turned 35 in February, hasn’t competed in the Octagon since March 2008. He left the UFC for an opportunity to fight for the now defunct Affliction promotion. Since leaving, Arlovski’s career has seen its share of ups and downs. After picking up back-to-back wins over Roy Nelson and Ben Rothwell, he went on a four-fight losing streak.
His MMA career has taken a nomadic path, leading him to various other promotions such as Strikeforce, ProElite, One FC and World Series of Fighting.
He lately seems to have righted the ship with consecutive wins over Mike Kyle and Andreas Kraniotakes.
The landscape has changed drastically since Arlovski’s UFC heyday. No longer is the heavyweight division a wasteland of underwhelming talent. From top to bottom, the division is now crowded with world-class talent and arguably its most dominant champ in UFC history, Cain Velasquez.
Arlovski was once considered one of the most beloved champs ever in the UFC. He now enters the heavyweight shark pool in an attempt at one last run at UFC gold.
How will he fare on his second go?