Photo courtesy of Esther Lin for Zuffa
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski talks about upcoming fight with Anthony Johnson, and why Greg Jackson is the main guiding force in his career.
This Saturday night will mark the sophomore outing for World Series of Fighting, and will present a pretty solid card. The main event may be the most intriguing match-up of all, considering that former UFC welterweight, Anthony Johnson, will be facing Andrei Arlovski at heavyweight.
Arlovski, who is currently on an impressive run, is not taking the fight lightly, and still feels that Johnson presents a serious challenge. Despite the great care he's taking with his training, he still feels Anthony is making a big mistake in stepping up to face him.
I recently interviewed the Pitbull, and got his thoughts on the fight, as well as his desire to prove that he's still got what it takes to not only get back in the Top 10, but to become the UFC heavyweight champion again. Here's what he had to say:
It's probably a bad idea for him to move to heavyweight, but it's up to him. On March 23rd, I'm going to show him that he's wrong in taking that big step up. I saw him a few weeks ago, and he looks huge, bigger than 235 pounds. I guess he has a good diet, and a good nutritionist. We'll see how he's going to move at that weight and what he's going to bring to the table. I still have to be careful because he's a great wrestler and a good striker. I just have to be ready for everything.
Arlovski's confidence level seems to be through the roof right now, and some believe he's regained some of that old fire and passion he once had. Andrei disagrees, though. He says he never lost it, and is looking to prove he belongs at the top of the heavyweight heap once again.
I absolutely have more confidence now. Greg Jackson gave me that hope two years ago, to be in the top again, so we started from the beginning, and I feel like I'm getting closer now. We spend a lot of time in the gym these days. I know I still have a lot to prove with my striking skills, my wrestling skills, my jiu jitsu skills, but I'm doing it. I'm putting in the hard training for it.
Of course I was worried a few years ago, if I was done, because a lot of people talked shit behind my back, even some of my friends and former trainers. What was more important to me, was what Greg Jackson had to say. I only deal with him. If he were to say, 'You know Andrei, it's time to retire', probably I would be mad, but yes, I'm going to retire at that point.
He didn't say that, though. He said it was bullshit, and that I have a lot of energy and a lot of years left to fight. He said that we should do it one step at a time, just do our job right. I really appreciate Greg Jackson. I'm going to stick with him until I'm done fighting, and that's it.
I don't just want to be in the Top 10, I want to be in the Top 2 or 3 in the world. I want to be a champion again. You never know, maybe I'll one day come back to the UFC, maybe not, but I definitely want to be the best fighter in the world again, because I remember that feeling, when you're on top of the world. If I make it to be the champion again, I'm not going to make the same mistakes that I made when I was in the UFC.
I'm still hungry and I still want to be the champion. I'm a very blessed man because I have good friends and family that motivate me. I have fans that stuck by me all the time that motivate me. Everybody that's around me now supports me and tries to help me reach my goals. I'm a very happy man.
You can follow Andrei via his Twitter, @AndreiArlovski