With Current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir, still sidelined indefinitely due to a severe motorcycle accident months ago, Andrei Arlovski (9-3) has been keeping the division busy as Interim Heavyweight Champion and now appears to be heading for a striking showdown with Paul Buentello (19-7)...
It was previously rumored that Mir would be ready for Arlovski in the UFCs October event, but Buentello has made public statements that he will be next in line for a shot at Arlovskis Heavyweight Title and has already signed on the dotted line.
Arlovski became the Interim Title holder in February by dominating former Champion, Tim Sylvia, and has now rattled off a total of 5 straight victories since last losing 2002 (4 of those by knock out and 1 by submission), The Belarusian obviously is not content to wait for the possibility of fighting Mir, as it is unknown if he will indeed ever make a return to the sport.
Arlovski, a sambo champion turned striker, has spent the majority of his streak on his feet, content to trade blows with all comers and has used solid footwork, crisp striking ability, quick transitions, and sheer aggressiveness to overwhelm the opposition. But Buentello is arguably the best stand up fighter the Interim Champ has faced since his last loss at the hands of Pedro Rizzo.
Buentello has won ten of his last eleven fights with 8 by way of knockout and 2 by submission. He burst on to the UFC scene with his effortless dismantling of Justin Eilers Iast February, picking him apart with quick pinpoint punching accuracy and finishing him with a textbook one-two combo. He has added another win since then.
Both fighters have been fighting professionally since the nineties, but only now seem to be coming into their prime. Arlovski and Buentello are arguably the best stand up skilled UFC heavyweights in the division today. Buentellos achilles heel has been his ground game, but has shown marked improvement in his takedown defense since joining the American Kickboxing Academy squad.
On paper, Buentello has the hands, the chin, and the defense. Arlovski owns the kicks and the ground. With neither heavyweight ever letting a fight go the distance, this has fireworks written all over it and should be a very fan friendly showdown.