Fedor Emelianenko will defend the World Association of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight championship against one-time UFC titleholder Andrei Arlovski at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Jan. 24 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Affliction kicked off the promotional push for the fight on its Web site this week.
Emelianenko (28-1), widely regarded as the world’s premier mixed martial artist, has rattled off 26 consecutive victories, a 2004 no contest with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira notwithstanding. The stoic 32-year-old Russian stunned the combat sports world in July, when he chopped down and submitted two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds at Affliction “Banned.” Emelianenko also holds victories against Nogueira (twice), UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman (twice), 2006 Pride open weight grand prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland.
Arlovski will enter the match with a head of steam, having posted a five-fight winning streak since his unanimous decision loss to Sylvia at UFC 61. The 29-year-old Belarusian last competed at EliteXC “Heat” earlier this month, when he knocked out International Fight League heavyweight champion Roy Nelson. Wins over Sylvia, Ben Rothwell, Paul Buentello and Vladimir Matyushenko highlight Arlovski’s resume, which includes a 10-4 run in the UFC.