Exclusive Interview With Top UFC Heavyweight Andrei Arlovski



Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski is a top contender in Heavyweight mixed-martial arts right now with a pro record of 11 wins, 5 losses and a run as UFC Heavyweight champion from February of 2005 until April of 2006.

He lost the title to the same guy he got it from, a former two-time champion himself, Tim Sylvia. Since those back-to-back losses, Arlovski has gone undefeated in two fights, defeating submission specialists Marcio “Pe De Pano” Cruz and top Heavyweight contender coming over from PRIDE, Fabricio Werdum.

Many thought the winner of the Arlovski-Werdum fight would be next in line for the Heavyweight title following the Randy Couture-Gabriel Gonzaga match in August. UFC president Dana White recently said that wouldn't be the case, pointing to the “lackluster” victory over Werdum as the reason.

In the following exclusive MMANews.com interview, our own Scott from the forums spoke with Arlovski to discuss where he think he stands in the Heavyweight title picture, his thoughts on the Werdum fight, possibly fighting a guy he was once scheduled to fight – current champion Couture, how he stacks up against PRIDE kingpin Fedor Emelianenko, his Sambo background, and some general questions to find out more about “The Pitbull” outside the cage.


Scott of MMANews.com: I'm here today with former UFC Heavyweight champion and current top contender “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski. Andrei, how are you doing today?

Andrei Arlovski: Good, and you?

MMANews.com: Great. I wanted to start off by asking you your thoughts on your performance against [Fabricio] Werdum at UFC 70. I thought it was a good fight.

Andrei Arlovski: Thank you. I have the same opinion about the fight. Seriously, I was in great shape and followed instruction of my trainers. I am very glad I won.

MMANews.com: Where do you see yourself in the title picture?

Andrei Arlovski: It's up to UFC. I am ready when they are. Right now I am a contender and can wait in line like everyone else.

MMANews.com: How has your training changed in the last year?

Andrei Arlovski: I started training with a new cardio instructor and two trainers in freestyle wrestling. Tim Allegretti from West Loop Gym for cardio and Sean and John from Overtime Wrestling.

MMANews.com: How do you feel you match up with Fedor [Emelianenko], the Pride Heavyweight champion?

Andrei Arlovski: I was ready for a match up against Fedor two years ago, but I lost two of my fights against Tim Sylvia. Because of those losses, I don't think that I will be a contender to fight him soon.

MMANews.com: Also how do you feel about a fight with Mirko CroCop and/or Brandon Vera.

Andrei Arlovski: Both will be exciting fights.

MMANews.com: This is probably the most talked about thing you with, what exactly are your Sambo credentials?

“The Pitbull” – Andrei Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski: I became world Junior Heavyweight Sambo champion when I was 19. After that I became silver medalist for the men's European championship. After that I earned a bronze medal for the World Sambo Championship. I am “Master Sport” in the international class. A very special rank to receive.

MMANews.com: How did you feel about Randy [Couture] winning the Heavyweight championship, and do you see a future match between you two?

Andrei Arlovski: I am very happy he won and I have a lot of respect for Randy. I was supposed to fight Randy about three or four years ago, but broke my hand. If it happens it will be a very interesting and difficult match for me.

MMANews.com: Seeing that you come from a Sambo background, have you ever faced the Pride Heavyweight champion Fedor or his Brother Aleksander in Sambo?

Andrei Arlovski: Never.

MMANews.com: I hear a lot of talk about Chuck Liddell wanting to fight the best fighters in the world and that means stepping up to Heavyweight. Would you like to fight him?

Andrei Arlovski: I have a lot of respect for Chuck, he is tough fighter. Anything can happen in this world. I like to fight the best fighters too.

MMANews.com: This is a question a lot of people also wanted your thoughts on. How do you feel about people criticizing you about taking a punch? I have always thought you took punches well and after the Werdum fight, I think people would change their minds.

Andrei Arlovski: If people are talking about you good or bad, it means you are interesting for the crowd. I know and all my trainers know it's not true about me not being able to take a punch. When you fight aggressive, sometimes you can get caught. In the Heavyweight class, especially if somebody is bigger than you, it doesn't matter if you have an iron jaw, you will feel it.

MMANews.com: Here are some general questions so we can know what the real Andrei is like. What is your favorite pizza place in Chicago? Whats your favorite movies? Also in your spare time do you do anything with charities?

Andrei Arlovski: Pizza – I don't eat pizza, I have a strict diet. Movies – my favorite movies are Gladiator, Braveheart, The Beach with Leonardo and King Arthur to name a few. I like movies of old wars. Charities – I do a lot of work with charities. I have worked with the Children's Memorial Hospital as well as I do work with a lot of fans that send me requests. I sometimes want money to go right to the person in need.

MMANews.com: Again I would like to thank you for taking your time out to do this interview. Can’t wait to see you back fighting again and wish you luck against your next opponent, and waiting for the day to see you with the title again. Thanks and have a great day.

Andrei Arlovski: Thank you, Scott.

Want to contact Scott about the above interview? E-mail him at [email protected] or hit him up in the MMANews.com forums by CLICKING HERE.

Check out more exclusive MMANews.com fighter interviews in our full interview-archive section by CLICKING HERE.



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