Former UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia squared off for a fourth time Friday at “ONE FC: Pride of a Nation” in Manila, Philippines. After a back and forth battle throughout the first round-and-a-half, Arlovski dropped Sylvia near the end of round two with punches and it looked as though “The Pitbull” was on his way to a knockout victory.
However, after Arlovski landed a soccer kick to Sylvia’s face to finish him off, the referee stopped the action saying he had not yet given the signal that allowed the use of soccer kicks. ONE FC allows soccer kicks — Phil Baroni used them to finish off his opponent earlier in the night — however, they are only permitted once the referee gives the signal during the bout they are fair game.
It’s a ridiculous rule. There’s no doubt about that. Either have them or don’t have them. But for fighters who train their bodies to react by instinct on a split second’s notice, trying to create a rule where soccer kicks are only permitted once the referee says it is okay — and this during the heat of battle — is completely moronic. And whoever came up with this brilliant idea, and all those who agreed with it, are hereby sentenced to writing 1,000 times “Soccer kicks are awesome and I am a dummy.”
So, after the soccer kick incident, “The Maine-iac” decided he did not want to continue the fight (despite the fact he was given time to recover, he was on his feet and appeared quite bright-eyed and bushy-taled, relatively speaking of course, considering a grown man just used his skull to kick a field goal). Once Sylvia decided he did not want to risk Arlovski misunderstanding any other obscure rules and risk the possibility of who knows what (maybe being force fed his eyeballs — that is a possibility — just sayin…), the bout was ruled a No Contest — which by the way is the most unsatisfying and un-fan-friendly end to any fight.
After the dust settled and Arlovski got to the airport waiting for his flight back to America, he recorded the following video and shared his thoughts on the controversial stoppage and his misunderstanding of the referee during the bout. Arlovski also addressed the possibility of a fifth fight between himself and Sylvia and what he thinks about “The Maine-iac” refusing to continue after the soccer kick. Is the saga of the “How tastes my pee-pee?” beef settled once and for all? Who wants a five-peat?
If you still have not seen the fight, you can check it out Fight video: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tim Sylvia at ONE FC.