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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” After 22-Second Stunner Nearly Four Years Ago, Brett Rogers and Andrei Arlovski Trade Places

Andrei Arlovski (top) punishing Ray Lopez

By Joshua Molina

What a difference four years makes. Back on June 6, 2009, the future looked entirely different for two fighters who will step into the cage this week.

Brett “Da Grimm” Rogers returns to Bellator on Thursday in what is a make-or-break fight for the heavyweight hammer.

Rogers has fought under the bright lights of Strikeforce on CBS, but has struggled in the last couple of years. The former Sam’s Club tire changer was the first man to threaten the great Fedor Emelianenko in a 2009 fight on CBS, pounding him and bloodying his nose before The Last Emperor KO’d rogers with a big right hand.

Rogers, (12-5), started 10-0, but has lost five fights in recent years, beginning with the Emelianenko KO. Rogers can knock anyone out with his powerful right hand, but his ground game, conditioning and motivation have caused big problems for the man who emerged onto the national stage after his 22-second KO of Andrei Arlovski in Strikeforce in 2009.

It doesn’t look great for Rogers, who will fight Eric Prindle Thursday night on Spike TV. Prindle is 9-3 and is a former Bellator Heavyweight Tournament winner.

Surprisingly, the man who people thought was washed up after the Rogers KO, Arlovski, has bounced back and positioned himself as one of the sport’s most interesting comeback stories.

Arlovski will headline the World Series of Fighting 2 card on March 23 on NBC Sports. Arlovksi has won four fights in a row after losing four straight. He would have five straight wins, but he was disqualified after an illegal kick to a Tim Sylvia in a fight that Arlovski was about to win by knockout.

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion seems to have fought his legs and chin again and is fighting much smarter and conservatively. Arlovski has become the face of WSOF, but his comeback will be threatened by the hard-hitting Anthony Johnson, a former UFC veteran, fired for his inability to make weight and submission loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142.

A win could land Arlovski back in the UFC, which is in need of quality heavyweights to challenge Cain Velasquez for the strap.

The show also features Tyson Nam (12-4) battling two-time national Muay Thai champion and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt Marlon Moraes (9-4), in a fight that could steal the show.

posted by JoshuaM @ 9:23 pm
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