A little backstory: Arlovski is my favorite heavyweight in history next to the inimitable Cro Cop. Love his style, his personality, everything about the guy. He's fucking awesome and I'll kill you if you disagree. That being said, I didn't watch his fight with Rothwell back in 2008. I was a dumb kid, and didn't know how to stream affliction I guess. But I was excited, I had been a quad city silverbacks fanboy, and loved Big Ben as well. Arlovski was, well, Arlovski. I saw the gif of the finish on the forums and let out a cheer at the behest of my fellow Wisconisinite, thinking Arlovski had dominated another skilled fighter. I think this reaction was pretty typical. Most of us didn't, don't, watch many events that aren't Zuffa-sponsored in the post-buyout era. But a sweet heavyweight KO is always appreciated. Now, on a whim I just watched the full fight: [YT]Hqcyssrwy4k[/YT] And then I had to watch it again. And then I went back and rewound and rewatched bits and pieces for an hour. Holy fucking shit, this is one of the best heavyweight fights of all time. First of all, rankings-wise it wasn't getting any credit, which was bullshit. Rothwell was coming off a nearly yearlong layoff, but was the IFL champ, on a 13-fight win streak over a lot of (at the time) good names: Rodriguez, Soczynski (twice) and Nelson. Arlovski meanwhile was fresh of a KO of Jake O'Brien and a UD of Werdum, who despite his awesomeness shouldn't have been ranked higher than these two at the time. Sure it was unenthusiastic, poorly-conditioned Werdum but it's a damn good win nonetheless, and Arlovski should have been ranked a hell of a lot higher than he was at the time. As for the fight though, holy shit! Both fighters came in well trained and in amazing shape. Rothwell's striking actually looked good! Arlovski had to rely on his speed advantage at times like this just to survive. (He should've just taken his head off the center line in this gif and not moved back so much, but seeing as he was used to fighting in a cage where that extended circling works better, we can forgive him) And when Arlovski was using that speed advantage to attack, holy shit was it awesome: I like this gif because Rothwell actually uses smart defensive tactics. He gets beaten to the punch by the faster Arlovski, so he immediately goes to clinch. Arlovski is having none of it and doesn't relent (because, Arlovski is an impeccable puncher and throws dope-ass combos) so Rothwell fights smart, covers up, and lives to fight on. Whereas modern day Browne would start swinging, or modern day Velasquez would shoot a double leg. Speaking of wrestling, I won't gif the whole thing, but the exchange in the last couple minutes of round two, before the standup at 19:40 in the video, is fucking awesome. 8-9 minutes into the fight, two heavyweight strikers are still fighting-grappling very effectively. No one is able to land much ground and pound, but there are extended positional battles the entire time. I shit on the heavyweights a lot for being unable to grapple, but both demonstrated better-than-decent guardwork and top control in this fight. (even if the leglock attempt was a bit sloppy) Of course, Arlovski does end up landing two sweet fucking combos, the first of which deserves all the praise we can lavish upon it. And finishing the fight at the outset of the third. But here's the thing, it's not just that Arlovski and Rothwell are awesome fighters, but I think this fight is a great showing on both ends. Rothwell looks good everywhere, is in good shape, and is very hard to knock out. Arlovski proves to be a premiere knockout artist by doing that to said hard-to-ko guy, at a time when everyone was seriously doubting him. (Ranked 27th in the world lmao. Fuck that) Long story short, this fight is fucking awesome, we should all seriously appreciate the fact that these two are some of the best heavyweights on earth. Either or both could be fighting for the UFC title within 1-2 fights. Realistically, Arlovski should be fighting for the title right now. Regardless, war Rothwell, war Arlovski, fuck everything else.