Andrei Arlovski and 10 MMA Fighters Who Couldn’t Live Up to the Hype

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Andrei Arlovski and 10 MMA Fighters Who Couldn’t Live Up to the Hype

Former UFC Heavyweight champion and current Strikeforce fighter Andrei Arlovski may be at a crossroads in his MMA career as he enters the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament this Saturday night.

Once considered one of the biggest stars in the sport, Arlovski left the UFC in March 2008 to pursue what many determined to be a more talent-rich world of heavyweight opponents outside of the world’s biggest MMA organization.

Arlovski, though, has dropped each of his last three bouts and is in need of a big win in the first round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament in order to re-establish himself as one of the world’s top fighters.

Though he lost to three very respectful fighters in Fedor Emelianenko, Brett Rogers and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva—all three of whom are also in the tournament—there is growing concern that the former UFC Heavyweight champion has simply “lost it." Perhaps the pressure of being a top fighter was too much for him to handle.

The hype around Arlovski was perhaps at its biggest point when he defeated former champion Tim Sylvia to become the UFC Heavyweight champion at UFC 51. It wasn’t long after that when we began to see the controversy of whether the UFC or PRIDE had better heavyweights. While many considered the PRIDE heavyweight division to be better, UFC President Dana White publicly bashed PRIDE Heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and essentially claimed that the UFC was the place where all the best fighters performed and proved themselves.

"I've been saying that forever, but the media over-hyped this mythological creature that they thought was the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, which is just so...it's so asinine and ridiculous," Dana White said in an interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.

With the UFC being the biggest fighting organization particularly in America, the fans latched on to this idea and many believed that Arlovski was not only one of the top heavyweights in the world, but that he may very well be the best.

Much has been documented about fighters who have traveled from outside of the UFC and struggled once they got to the UFC, but very little has been made about fighters who have left the UFC in a successful way and had struggles in other organizations.

Arlovski still has a chance to redeem himself and live up to the hype that surrounded him during his run as the UFC Heavyweight champion, but he’ll need to get started soon before all of the nostalgia begins to rub away.

If he can’t do it, Arlovski will not be the first fighter who failed to live up to the lofty expectations set for him by the MMA community. This list of 10 MMA fighters who couldn’t live up to the hype is both a look back on history as well as a glance at the current MMA landscape.

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