Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski are close friends and former training partners. So close, they hugged each other at the staredowns after UFC 187 media day Thursday.
But business, as they say, is business. And their business is mixed martial arts fighting. The only hugging inside the octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night for these two heavyweights came after the official announcement declaring Arlovski the winner by first-round TKO.
"I love him like a brother," Arlovski said of Browne.See alsoWeidman wins at UFC 187: Special presentation
Before that, take your pick in ranking the order of massive shots each guy threw and landed in this textbook heavyweight slugfest. Arlovski (24-10) landed a major uppercut and forced Browne back across the cage in the opening minute. He dropped Browne twice and staggered him even more in the first round before finishing him with 19 seconds left.
Getting hammered along the cage, Browne (17-3-1) threw a haymaker that connected on Arlovski's chin and dropped him in the final minute of the round. He got back up.
"I threw a lot of punches at Travis' face and he was still alive," Arlovski said. "I still have a lot of work."
The final flurry from Arlovski, winner of three straight since returning to the UFC last year, began with a big right hand that sent Browne reeling into the cage. Arlovski finished it with a quick flurry.