Andrei Arlovski is back in the UFC.
UFC president Dana White tweeted Thursday night, "Welcome back Andrei Arlovski!", however he didn't provide further clarification as to whether or not the Belarusian fighter had officially re-signed with the UFC. MMAFighting.com learned on Wednesday that the organization had been in talks with Arlovski about a return and confirmed with sources close to the situation that he has agreed to a new deal.
Neither White nor Arlovski's manager Leo Khorolinsky were available to further comment on the news.
According to World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, Arlovski's contract recently expired, however, he did have one fight left on it. WSOF had the option to extend the contract because Arlovski had to pull out of the last fight due to an injury, but they chose to release him from the deal after he asked to re-sign with the UFC.
"Arlovski brought attention to us when we needed it," Abdel-Aziz said. "At this point, I wish him the best of luck back in the UFC."
Sources with knowledge of the situation say there have been preliminary talks to match up Arlovski with Brendan Schaub, however, nothing has been finalized just yet.
Arlovski, 35, last fought inside the Octagon at UFC 82 in March 2008. He parted ways with the company following an undercard win over Jake O'Brien because both sides could not come to terms on a new deal. Since then, he's gone 8-5 (1 NC) in Affliction, EliteXC, Strikeforce, ProElite, WSOF and Fight Nights. He has rebounded from a four-fight losing streak to win six of his last eight fights.
Arlovski (21-10, 1 NC), currently training with Team Jackson-Winkeljohn in New Mexico, made his Octagon debut at UFC 28 in November 2000. He won the interim heavyweight title against Tim Sylvia at UFC 51, which later became the official heavyweight title. Since leaving the promotion, he has notable wins over Roy Nelson, Ben Rothwell and Mike Kyle.