Tonight, at the fifth World Series of Fighting event, the most famous fanged mouthguard in MMA will once again grace a cage. Am I an Andrei Arlovski fan? You bet I am, and I'm always excited to see the Pitbull in action.
It's been six months since his last fight, which was an unfortunate loss. A broken jaw, sustained early in the first round played heavily into that defeat, and questionable time keeping should have seen the decision overturned, but unfortunately, it wasn't. In a display of grit and will, Andrei finished the fight, and went on to have surgery to repair his jaw, which had been fractured in two places.
Now, completely healed, he'll be facing off against veteran heavyweight, Mike Kyle. My MMA Sentinel co-host, Iain Kidd and I interviewed Andrei briefly yesterday, who discussed his opponent, the trouble with flying knees, what he took away from training with Freddie Roach and his movie career. Here's what he had to say:
Mike Kyle Fight
First of all, I like what I'm doing right now. I like training hard and most importantly I like to be able to fight. Mike Kyle should give up, because he will not knock me out.
He's a good striker, he's got a quick jab and a good right hand. I have to stay away from his right hand. I got this opportunity on a few weeks notice, but my training has been great. My main sparring partner was Jon Jones, and I trained a lot with him, it's gone very well.
Training with Makhov and Freddie Roach
Training with Bilal Makhov was a great experience for me, and I'm going to go back to Dagestan to train more with him. After my camp over there I came back to Greg Jackson's gym and I didn't fear anybody.
Freddie Roach is a great boxing coach. I took a lot from him, but at the same time it meant I wasn't focusing on other things. I don't know, I probably lost more than I gained. It was a great experience, but it didn't really help me with [mixed martial arts] fighting. I took some from him and I lost some. Time goes forward.
What I remember is that stupid mistake that cost me a lot against Fedor. That horrible flying knee back in 2009... before that fight, I fought Ben Rothwell and landed a flying knee. People went crazy, I went crazy, and I thought, 'Oh, I'm a genius, I can throw whatever I want.' I jumped with the flying knee and went down, lights out. I paid for it. It was kind of the beginning of my bad series of results. I'm not going to make those mistakes again. No more flying knees for a while. I'm kind of still afraid to throw knees, especially flying knees.
The clock was wrong, and after 5 minutes of the first round, Anthony landed a good combination and broke my jaw in two places. I fought the next two rounds with a broken jaw. Because of that mistake by the commission I lost, and it cost me time to recover from the injury.
I'm absolutely focused on my MMA career right now. When I have free time between fights I might do a movie, because it's a lot of fun. I like doing it. I worked with the same director for the Universal Soldier movies and they were great fun.
You can follow Andrei via his Twitter account, @AndreiArlovski