Former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia went to battle Friday at ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation. After Arlovski dropped Sylvia in the second round, he unloaded with a pair of kicks to the head.
Normally, that would be illegal. However, ONE FC allows the referees to determine an open attack is available and the fighter can use soccer kicks. Before the ref made such a decision, Arlovski had planted two boots on Sylvia.
The end result was a no-contest between the two men who were meeting for a fourth time. Sylvia owns two wins over Arlovski, who took to his own personal blog to discuss the fight.
“I feel Tim Sylvia is no slouch and the various punches he delivered in the first round were very strong but I want to make it very clear that in the second round I felt in total control and regardless of the current decision Tim would have lost this bout,” Arlovski posted. “The first kick I delivered was on his shoulder after I punched him and he went down like a tree and attempted to start moving away from me.”
Arlovski added that he felt as though Sylvia was “conscious and aware of his surroundings,” so he went in for another knockout blow.
“The second kick was in fact to his head, but it came after I noticed this questionable overall referee running with his hand up from behind me,” Arlovski continued.
Arlovski said that the ref missed several calls early in the fight, but that he was proud of his ability to take Sylvia’s best punches and stay upright. Rumors of a potential fifth encounter started as soon as the no-contest was read, and Arlovski seems down for that.
“My team is proud of me and I feel like I am making the right progress in my MMA career,” Arlovski posted. “Me beef with Tim Sylvia is now behind us both and the outcome of this bout is clear to me, but I’ll let you guys decide.”