Houston, TX — Andrei Arlovski’s late-career resurgence continued at UFC 271, with “The Pitbull” picking up his third straight win, and fifth in his last six fights.
The victory this time came in a split decision against Jared Vanderaa, a heavyweight nearly 15 years younger than the former champ.
“Eight days ago, I turned 43, it’s a great present for me. I tested my condition, I’m good for three rounds, so I’m good,” Arlovski (33-20, 2NC) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout, before acknowledging that “My coach was a little upset because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. But otherwise, everything went smoothly.”
Given his status as a living legend in the sport, are coaches even allowed to be upset with Andrei Arlovski? And how does he react? That’s a question that was thrown his way following the win.
“You can put is this way, I am my coaches’ slave. They know what to do. I can be upset inside, but I’m not going to say anything [out] loud, because I chose them to be in my corner, they’re helping me a lot and I respect their opinions,” said Arlovski. “Even [though] some of them are younger than me.”
As to what his corner, including Mike Brown, wanted, “I was supposed to throw more overhand rights, switch stances.” His coaches were upset to see Arlovski hang out on the cage too often as well. “I knew I was kind of winning the rounds, and I allowed myself to be lazy. But this is 100% not acceptable, this is wrong.”
Lately, he admits, his coaches have been more vocal than ever. “That’s why I’m disciplined right now.” He’s also choosing what is truly important to him, at a time where his career only has so many opportunities left. “I turned 43, and I know I still have maybe, in the best case scenario, a two, three-year window [of] opportunities. That’s why I focus on myself, on my health, on my performance, on my workouts, and my life in general. Thank god, everything’s going in the right direction.”
Watch the full UFC 271 post-fight press scrum with Andrei Arlovski above.