Former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski is returning to the UFC after six years of wandering in the MMA organization wilderness, and fans of the “Pitbull” can expect to see his dangerous boxing and somewhat questionable chin in action against Brendan Schaub at UFC 174.
Arlovski was pretty much a “shot” fighter when he last left the Octagon, and was soon on a four-fight skid, losing to the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers, before getting back to his winning ways. All of this is just a more verbose way of saying that if Arlovski can earn a return to the UFC, there’s probably hope for some other fighters out there who once tasted Dana White’s brand of glory and might want more. So who would you like to see back? And who from yesteryear would you like to see who maybe never got a shot in the UFC but probably deserved one? Let’s spitball some ideas here…
- Fedor Emelianenko - Obviously, this cat never fought in the UFC, but since he was considered the best in the world, he damn sure should have. Since dropping three fights to the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, Fedor has since quietly amassed three wins overseas. Why not get him in the Octagon now?
- Sergei Kharitonov - This dude was a badass with solid kickboxing skills when he transitioned into MMA, and though he lost to some of the best (Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem), he was fearsome. And he probably still is fearsome, considering he’s still fighting and knocking opponents out.
- Paul Buentello - Back in the day, Buentello was a promising regional up-and-comer, and when he first made it into the Octagon, he had some spectacular ups and downs. Buentello actually had another stint in the UFC after some time away, and after losing to Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo, was cut from the roster a second time. But why not bring him back? After all, he loses with about as much crowd-pleasing drama as he wins with.
- Chris Lytle - Lytle retired on a win back in 2011, but his “slug it out and leave it all in the cage” style made for a ton of fans who still mourn his departure. Surely there are some welterweights on the UFC’s roster who could use a boost from a good stand-up battle?
- Brock Lesnar - The only reason to bring Lesnar back would be for the buzz and the extra pro wrestling fans who’d tune in. And you know what? That’s not a bad reason at all.
- Chuck Liddell - “The Iceman” has been talking a lot of nonsense lately. He needs to be brought back just to shut him up.
Who else should be on this list and why?