Two former UFC champions will be on the bill when One Fighting Championship rolls into the Philippines next month.
Onetime heavyweight ace Andrei Arlovski and ex-lightweight champ Jens Pulver have agreed to compete at One FC 5 “Pride of a Nation,” Sherdog.com learned Monday from a source close to the promotion. Arlovski will go up against surging Australian Soa Palelei, while Pulver will clash with unbeaten Filipino featherweight Eric Kelly.
One FC 5 takes place Aug. 31 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and is also expected to feature the promotional debuts of former Dream champions Shinya Aoki and Bibiano Fernandes. More information about the card is expected to be formally announced Wednesday at a press conference in nearby Pasig City.
Arlovski, 33, resuscitated his career late last year with a pair of wins under the ProElite banner. After suffering four consecutive losses between 2009 and 2011 -- including three by way of first-round knockout -- the Belarusian has strung together back-to-back stoppages of Travis Fulton and Ray Lopez.
His opponent, 34-year-old Palelei, has gone 9-1 since a one-fight stint with the UFC in 2007, his only loss in that span coming against Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner Daniel Cormier. The “Hulk” is currently on a seven-fight winning streak, the most recent of which came in a 12-second May blitzing of Bob Sapp.
Like Arlovski, Pulver has returned from what looked to be a career-ending string of defeats. The 37-year-old has alternated wins and losses in his last four outings while moving down the scale to bantamweight. Pulver’s last start saw him win a decision against unknown Jesse Thorton in April.
Kelly, 30, is regarded as one of the Philippines’ best emerging fighters. The current featherweight champ of the country’s leading promotion, URCC, Kelly will return for his third One FC appearance, having previously topped Korean Bae Young Kwon and American Mitch Chilson in the company’s cage.