LAS VEGAS – Andrei Arlovski is sort of conscious of the a number of challenges issued by his upcoming opponent, Carlos Felipe. But 22 years into his skilled combating profession, you’ll perceive if none of it actually mattered to him.
“Every different day, some like ‘f’ messages: ‘Hey, come on Arlovski. Blah, blah, blah, blah,’” Arlovski recalled to MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day on the UFC Apex. “I said, ‘OK, if it’s Carlos Felipe, it doesn’t matter. Carlos Felipe.”
Ultimately, Felipe (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) received his want, and he and Arlovski (31-20 MMA, 20-14 UFC) will face off within the co-main occasion of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 195, which streams stay on ESPN+ from the UFC Apex.
At 42, Arlovski is sort of used to the state of affairs he finds himself in as soon as once more – a youthful, hungry opponent trying to make his identify off a grizzled veteran and former champ. If it takes a couple of harsh phrases for the teenager to get the matchup, so be it.
“You said I’m a veteran, right?” Arlovski requested. “I don’t care anymore. I’m not 25, sadly, and I don’t care who’s popping out and what language, how skilled or not. Just I do know I did an excellent camp. My coaches did their homework, and I’m prepared for the combat. I’m going to present him a lesson contained in the octagon. That’s it – or I would lose a combat.
“You know, it’s the heavyweight division, and everybody says it: You can win the whole fight, but one punch can decide everything, so if I’m going to stick with my gameplan, keep my hands up, everything is going to be OK.”
Incredibly, Arlovski makes his thirty sixth stroll to the octagon at Saturday’s occasion, which qualifies him as third most in promotional historical past, solely behind stalwarts Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller. Arlovski admits tenure data don’t actually maintain all that a lot significance to him, however he additionally believes that quantity might get a lot greater earlier than he’s able to stroll away.
“I just found out that I believe I’m the third person who has the most fights in UFC history,” Arlovski stated. “Listen, I’m still young. I have a lot of years to go.”
How these years play out will definitely be influenced by the outcomes Arlovski is ready to safe within the cage. At 3-1 in his previous 4 fights, issues appear to be going effectively sufficient, however Arlovski says he has designs on larger issues than simply scrapping with the following younger buck to name his identify.
“I need to rebuild my career,” Arlovski stated. “Remember all my last four opponents, they were newcomers. I want to fight someone in the top 10, top five.”
It’s been greater than 15 years since Arlovski final competed in a UFC title combat. He’s had greater than double the variety of complete profession fights since shedding the title than he had when he was reigning champion. Yet right here he’s, as soon as once more in a featured contest in opposition to a person who seems to be to make use of him as a stepping stone.
Arlovski is aware of it’s a path he can’t stroll ceaselessly, however he definitely doesn’t see the top coming by the hands of Felipe.
“At least until age 45, I think I’m going to be OK,” Arlovski stated with amusing. “Forty-five, and maybe a half. We’ll see. Maybe 46.”
To see the total interview with Arlovski, try the video above.