Photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce
The calls for retirement rang out shortly after Sergei Kharitonov turned off Andrei Arlovski's lights last Saturday night. It was the third violent knockout in his last four fights and the seventh in his 24-fight career. Arlovski, who turned 32 on February 4th, insists he's not done. MMA Junkie transcribed Arlovski's live video chat from yesterday:
"Absolutely not," Arlovski said of a potential retirement. "First of all, I'm not going to finish my career like this. Definitely, I'm going to keep fighting, and I know it's impossible to fix all these problems. Honestly, I don't know why I keep losing."
"I just stopped again, and he knocked my ass out," Arlovski admitted. "This is just embarrassing."
Brent Brookhouse argued for Arlovski to hang 'em up on Valentine's Day:
The moment that I saw Arlovski was breathing and had been brought back to the real world my immediate thought was "Okay, time to hang 'em up." It's not that I don't want to see Andrei fight anymore but that I don't want to see him unable to live a productive life after MMA.
I'm torn on the issue.
One side of me sympathizes with Brent's argument. Watching a fighter like Joe Frazier struggle to speak and move around, reduced to living in the back room of a dusky old boxing gym, strikes me with the same emotions one feels when seeing a loved one for the first time after a stroke. It's difficult to reconcile the person you see now with the person you used to know.
As a champion of personal liberty, it's difficult for me to discourage someone from making a living so long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. That's not to say that I'll support a fighter extending a career at all costs, but there's a part of me that doesn't feel comfortable telling a grown-ass man, "You can't do this anymore."
Regardless, it appears that Arlovski insists on fighting again.
UPDATE by Kid Nate: Arlovski's coach Greg Jackson chimes in via Sherdog:
"I think he's going to come back a better fighter," Jackson said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network's "Beatdown" show. "You have to remember I'm a diehard optimist. It's really hard to discourage me or tell me it shouldn't be done or it can't be done. I'm a guy that I think I know what to do to fix it. I'm going to try everything I can to do that."