Andrei Arlovski poses at the UFC 70 press conference. Photo courtesy of Arlovski.tv
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will finally make his long-awaited return to action when the UFC travels to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st. His opponent will likely be one that is making a return as well - upstart wrestler Jake O’Brien.
Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole has reportedly confirmed Arlovski’s return date with UFC President Dana White who also mentioned that O’Brien will most likely be Arlovski’s opponent.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Arlovski would be returning at the event late last week but Arlovski was not officially signed for the event until this past weekend.
Arlovski has not fought since winning an easy unanimous decision over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 70 all the way back in April. Since then Arlovski’s management team has been locked up in unsuccessful contract extension talks with the UFC that have kept the former champ on the sidelines. This fight will be the last bout on his current contract with the promotion.
O’Brien has been on an even longer hiatus. He last pulled off a major upset over veteran heavyweight Heath Herring at UFC Fight Night 8 nearly one year ago. O’Brien underwent surgery this past summer to correct a near career-ending spine injury. The The former Purdue University wrestling standout is undefeated inside the UFC thus far.