Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski has said he could provide the opponent for Mike Tyson’s ring return, insisting he would be ready to take on his childhood hero in a contest switching between MMA and pure boxing.

Colorful Belarusian Arlovski, who has been a UFC fighter for almost 20 years across two spells, watched Tyson release a video showing his impressive power and skills as the 53-year-old continues to plot a comeback.

Ex-heavyweight boxing champion Tyson is a fan of MMA, refereeing a fight in Manchester earlier this year while telling reporters that a return to boxing would be more lucrative for him than a move to a new professional discipline.

Arlovski adored Tyson as a youngster and would be keen to fight the man he considers a hero should “The Baddest Man on the Planet” be ready to alternate codes during a bout.

“Tyson is a legend,” the veteran of 50 fights told

“His poster hung in my room.

“I’m not ready for a full fight by the rules of boxing against him. If one round is boxing and one round is MMA, then it is possible.”

Arlovski has claimed he was lined up as an opponent for Wladimir Klitschko by the organizers of the Ukrainian’s win over Alexander Povetkin in Moscow 2013.

“There was an idea to hold ten fights and then fight with Klitschko,” he explained, adding that the plan was scuppered by his own swift knockout defeat to Fedor Emelianenko.

“Then I had health problems. We paused the idea, but if there is any specific proposal, I will consider it.”

In the immediate future, Arlovski is targeting heavyweight rivals Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alistair Overeem on his way to potentially make a late-career run at the UFC heavyweight title he once held in the summer of 2006.

He overcame a low blow from opponent Philipe Lins to record a unanimous decision win last week in Jacksonville, and has admitted he was relieved to have controlled his impulses after initially calling for his opponent to be disqualified.

“I calmed down and pulled myself together,” said Arlovski. 

“It’s good that the fight wasn’t called off, I didn’t hit back and I could control my emotions.

“At dinner after the fight, my coach reminded me three times that I have only ten days of rest, no holidays and drunkenness. We need to work on shortcomings and learn something new.”

US-based Arlovski has thanked UFC president Dana White for his long octagon career but insisted he lacks the smack-talking abilities of Conor McGregor despite his frequent expletive-laden Instagram posts.

“In order to [trash-talk], one must have talent,” he accepted.

“McGregor earns with his tongue no less than his arms and legs. Unfortunately, I cannot do this.”