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Was Operation Fluffy Blanket a success?

We’ve been covering the UFC’s plan to turf Andrei Arlovski and sweep him quietly out of the league for a while now. Overall the planning for Operation Fluffy Blanket was impressive: bench Arlovski for nearly a year, then have his last contracted fight on the undercards against Jake O’Brien, a guy who’s proven himself to be a top notch lay-n-prayer. Of course, there was one wild card in all this: Andrei Arlovski.

I was really hoping that Andrei would come in and rip O’Brien’s head off. But while Arlovski won the fight, he spent all but the last 15 second of the fight on his back or pressed against the cage. Impressive, it was not. So does that mean the UFC’s operation was a success?

While it wasn’t the grand slam it would have been had Jake O’Brien managed to eke out a decision, it was still pretty successful. Quite simply, Andrei looked bad. Even the finish was weaksauce: Andrei threw a couple sloppy punches and then basically pleaded with the ref to have the fight ended. Wherefore art thou, angry ass kicking Russian of yesteryear???

If Andrei is willing to re-sign with the UFC, he’s not going to get any negotiating leverage out of that performance. Of course, the general word floating around is Arlovski has no intention of coming back to the UFC. And if that’s the case, the UFC did a good job wrecking his value before releasing him into the wild. Operation: Successful.

  • JoeRoganIsAnAss

    Humbly disagree…

    Arlovski’s reception within Nationwide Arena was what you would come to expect for a former Champ. The arena was packed for the preliminary fights, and went absolutely nuts for Andrei.

    He wasn’t the only one trying to prove his value. Koscheck and Sanchez were also on the outs after their recent performances. Perhaps he could’ve done more in terms of letting his hands go, but fighting off your back while minimizing the damage was definately a part of his gameplan. I wasn’t expecting him to pull off any Fedor-esk Armbars.

    Maybe he’s worn out his welcome with the UFC. That’s fine if he’s up for greener pastures.

  • Dukes

    The truth is, Arlovski is overhyped inasmuch as he shoots his own self in the foot.

    He beat sylvia once, in quick fashion with the heel hook. Excellent win against a good opponent in a decisive fashion. Apart from that, in his last 4-5 fights, what has he done? Beat Eilers & Buentello, BIG DEAL. He got KO’ed by Sylivia in the rematch and then pranced around for 25 minutes in the 3rd match. After that, he put on SNOOZE fest with Werdum.

    Who cares, right? Well, sure. All fighters can go through dry spells. The thing is, it was reported that AA, or “Team Pitbull” (read: all of his sycophantic leechers and hangers-on), tried to hold up the UFC for something in the neighborhood of $225K per fight on the renewal.

    Now, is that OK? Fuck no. He hasn’t delivered good fights in ages, he doesn’t put asses in seats as of late, and he wants Couture and Liddell money? Riiiiiight.

    Here’s the facts: AA is an incredible athlete who has underwhelmed the MMA community and not delivered a solid, exciting fight in years (no, Eilers and Buentello DO NOT count). If I were Dana, and “Team Pitbull” were trying to hold me for ransom over an A-level fighter putting on B and C-level fights, I sit his ass for a year, too.
    Dana has showed, especially of late, that even if you lose, you’ll be rewarded if you put on a good. Show. Shit, Hendo got an extra $60K and he got choked the fuck out!
    AA needs to take what the UFC offers him and earn his quarter of a million dollar contract.

  • Atom

    I don’t understand why the UFC doesn’t just admit that they need him. They bit the bullet and re-signed Okami. At least Arlovski speaks some english. He’s also got a 3 fight win streak going, which is more than Mir, Herring, Kongo, or Werdum can say. If Kongo had won, I don’t think it would be an issue… he’d be a shoo-in for the next shot at the belt, but the fact that he lost out-weighs AA’s performance in terms of significance to the his contract situation.


  • Atom

    “[Arlovski has] not delivered a solid, exciting fight in years (no, Eilers and Buentello DO NOT count)”

    If first round knockouts aren’t good enough for you, I’m not sure what you expect out of the man. Perhaps you also won’t count his win over Marcio Cruz, either? BTW, anotherFIRST ROUND KO

  • Atom

    and before I log off, I’d also like to add that he’s only gone to a decision TWICE in his career, and occasionally looks like a werewolf. (werewolves are marketable)

  • Xenicore

    Did you see the crowd’s reaction when he won? He’s still a fan-favorite. He’ll get what he wants elsewhere. You’re correct in that O’brien was the perfect opponent to stifle him, and it was mildly effective in creating a boring first round. But since no one saw the fight…see, it works both ways. The fans that DID see it showed him appreciation. So I tend to think he’ll be back and popular as ever (even if it’s not with the UFC).

  • selfdestructo

    Everybody is quick to jump on the UFC (dana white) for not re-signing Arlovski, even though nobody really knows the whole story. We don’t truly know if the UFC is offering 100k(that’s what brandon vera and Sylvia get paid) or if he wants 250k +ppv revenue (chuck, couture stratosphere). That figure in post #2 of $220k seems to be in the ballpark of what Arlovski would be asking for. If they pay a non-champ 2 to 3 times more than their current champ AND their 2-time former champ, then they’d be upping the salary bar for everbody else.

    Easy for us all to spend the UFC’s money however we want.

    Personally, i hope they pay him whatever it takes and then have him fight Noguiera. However, if Arlovski loses, they now have a guy making $250k for 3 more fights who can’t beat their top guy, lost to the #2 guy twice in a row and can’t fight him again b/c nobody in their right mind wants Andrei vs Tim 4, and will not deserve a title shot until atleast 2010, by the time this awful contract is up.

    If anything, they should agree on 2 fight contract at 200k(meet somehwere in the middle). If arlovski loses to Nog, then he fights once more and he’s either gone or gets paid less. If he wins, then he justifies his contract and the UFC can contiue to pay him the money he wants, and the UFC has champ that everbody loves.

  • Atom
  • NunyaBidness

    “Arlovski’s reception within Nationwide Arena was what you would come to expect for a former Champ. The arena was packed for the preliminary fights, and went absolutely nuts for Andrei.”

    Were you at the fights? I was there and saw empty seats all over the place, even during the main event.

  • pillow

    He’s BELArussian.

    And yeah the place went nuts, and he loved it.

    I see everyone’s point, but I would watch him fight anyone with a dopey grin on my face.

  • GonzoDamon

    Are you kidding me? How did anyone NOT HEAR the criwd chanting ANDREI, ANDREI through multiple spurts in the match, including while he was on the bottom!!

    Chances are Arlovski asked for too much after being fairly underwhelming in a few of his last fights, but surely they could have found a compromise. Arlovski will be an asset to any company that picks him up. He is marketable, the people love him, and HE BRINGS THE GIRLS TO THE CAGE!!

    Personally, I want to see Arlovski vs. Kimbo. No, I NEED TO SEE AA vs. Kimbo!! Kimbo is definitely NOT GOING to hold him down. (I think that it would be interesting….Kimbo and AA both have power….AA’s chin is glass….Kimbo’s chin is untested….brawl a boxer….box a brawler…..MAKE IT HAPPEN!!)

  • pillow

    Well, this also pretty much sums it up:

    Through the labored breathing and the thick accent, one could gather that he “read somewhere, that he had surgery on his head or something, so, to be honest with you? I didnt want to hurt him.”

    Which is one of the most badass things a person can say in a postfight interview.

  • Thomas aka Hattori Hanzo

    Arlowski vs Herring for chance to fight Big Nog

  • Atom

    No. One non-fight-ending high-kick is not enough to earn Herring a 4th fight against Big Nog. To play Joe Silva: Herring vs. Sylvia, Vera vs. AA, then matchup the winners. (Don’t make Nog fight yet, he’s taken enough damage to merit 6 months between fights.) If one of the winners is hurt/too boring/acts like he might not re-sign with the UFC, give Mir his spot. Or maybe Mir-Kongo, who wouldn’t want to see one of those to prove it to the other that he doesn’t deserve the hype he’s gotten for a recent win over a big name?

    AA/Vera would be fireworks, and Arlovski needs an exciting fight.

  • ninjitsu

    Andrei didn’t look especially good in this fight, but was it really his fault? How can you complain about him stuffing takedowns the whole fight and eventually winning via ref stoppage?

    Andrei is a star and just needs some better match-making; put him against a brawler and you’ll see some more first round knock outs.

  • ninjitsu

    Just read the AA vs. Vera comment and I have to agree. I love both of those fighters and it would be a war!!

  • jackal-matt

    That fight sucked fucking balls and O’Brien gnp is the worst I have ever seen. I scored it 7-7 first round. I would give them 1-1 but 7 is the lowest I have ever seen it scored. You can’t blame arvloski for that shitfest except he should have subbed him with anaconda or something.

    IF knees were allowed to a downed opponent O’Boring would have been fucked up quick with those shitty shots.

  • winklepicker

    “(werewolves are marketable)”

    So true.