They first time they fought, Andrei Arlovski tapped out Tim Sylvia with an ankle lock. Sylvia came back to avenge the loss, twice, the second time at the aptly title UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. The six years since did little to lessen the animosity between the two, and both the fans and the two fighters were looking forward to today's showdown at One FC: Pride of a Nation.
In the end though, rather than resolve the bad blood, as a fight often does, a controversial NC leaves both fighters wanting to meet again, perhaps at ONE FC 6 in October.
The fight opened with Arlovski throwing multiple overhand rights, a tactic he would go back to throughout the course of the bout. Sylvia, however, implemented a strategy of using his size to lean on Arlovski, muscle him into the clinch along the fence and wear the Belarussian down.
In the second round, Arlovski fired a right hand that dislodged Sylvia's mouthpiece. They eventually clinch in the center of the cage, but were ultimately separated by the referee. Moments later, Arlovski dropped Sylvia with two hard right hooks as well as a left. He then followed up with two soccer kicks, the second of which landed with authority.
At first it seemed the fight was over as referee Shimada waved the action off. However, the referee was signaling a temporary halt to the bout. By ONE FC rules, a referee has to signal an 'open attack' before soccer kicks are allowed. Because Shimada didn't indicate to Arlovski the 'open attack' was permitted, the bout was halted and Sylvia was given time to recover. Arlovski was given a yellow card warning by Shimada as a result.
During the fight's intermission, Sylvia told referee Shimada and ringside officials he couldn't properly see and wasn't able to fight. As a result, the bout was stopped and due to Arlovski's illegal kick, declared a no contest.
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