During his 13-year pro career, Andrei
Arlovski is a man who has seen his ups and downs. Working his
way from obscurity to
UFC heavyweight champion, the Belarusian parted ways with the
promotion in 2008 and then suffered four consecutive losses from
January 2009 to February 2011 -- a stretch that prompted some to
call for his retirement.
In response, “The Pit Bull” has posted three wins and a no contest
in his last four fights, most recently knocking out International
Fight League veteran Devin Cole on
Nov. 3 at the World Series of Fighting’s
debut event in Las Vegas.
Arlovski will attempt to capture his fourth win in five outings
when he squares off with former Cage Warriors Fighting Champion
Mike Hayes in the
Fight Nights 9 "Battle of Moscow" headliner at the Dynamo
Sports Palace in Moscow. The event streams live on pay-per-view on
Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT and can be purchased through
Sherdog.com for 99 cents. The first 100 people to order the
pay-per-view will receive a coupon that can be redeemed to cover
the price of purchase.
Arlovski has also begun a film career in recent years, most notably
appearing in a pair of “Universal Soldier” sequels. The latter
film, dubbed “Day of Reckoning,” is currently running in theaters
nationwide and stars Scott Adkins, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph
Lundgren and Arlovski.
Recently, the heavyweight spoke to Sherdog.com on a variety of
topics, including his on-screen character, his move to the
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts camp and his
goals for the remainder of his fight career.
Sherdog.com: As I recall, most of your fight scenes in
“Universal Soldier: Regeneration” centered on hand-to-hand,
somewhat MMA-based combat. In “Day of Reckoning,” you can be found
swinging a giant ax and clubbing your co-stars with a baseball bat,
in addition to firing a shotgun from a moving vehicle. What was
this experience like for you?
Arlovski: It was definitely a lot of fun. I don’t really know how
to explain it. It’s just like being a little kid and getting some
very cool toys, you know?
Sherdog.com: Your fight scenes were not the only thing that
changed between the two films. In your first appearance as a
UniSol, you were kind of like the Terminator in that you were this
emotionless, unstoppable force. In the new film, you are much
wilder, screaming during your fight scenes and showing rage and
pain on your face. Was it fun to let loose like that instead of
being so stoic?
Arlovski: Yeah, but I wish that I had had at least a couple of
lines. I don’t want to be like furniture, you know? I just needed
to scream and punch and kill people, but, for sure, it was a lot of
Sherdog.com: We know you love fighting, otherwise you would
not have come back this way and rededicated yourself after losing
those four fights in a row. I’m curious: once you started acting,
did you develop a similar love for it like you possess for
Arlovski: It’s definitely two different things. With MMA, somebody
might punch you or hurt you, and that’s why, before the fight, you
are so focused and sometimes nervous. With the movies, I knew
everything was going to be on schedule. We did a lot of repetitions
before we filmed the scenes, and I knew what I had to do. Of
course, I was nervous, but it was a lot of fun and it was great to
make some extra money between fights. If somebody wants me to be in
another movie, of course, I would not even think twice. I would
take this opportunity and be in a movie again.
Sherdog.com: That’s interesting, because I thought I read
somewhere that you didn’t want to do anymore movies after this one
in order to focus solely on MMA. Am I off-base?
Arlovski: No, it’s just that I don’t want to be in a movie for just
a couple of minutes if it’s going to keep me from my MMA career.
For now, of course I’m going to choose MMA, because MMA pays all my
bills. I have to decide and find the right combination. For
example, if someone wants me to be in a movie, of course I have to
consider who else is going to be in this movie and what is next for
me in MMA. I’m not scared to work hard, I just think that
everything is supposed to be in the right time and at the right
place for me right now.
Sherdog.com: If you were cast in your ideal role, who would
you really like to work with?
Arlovski: I think one of the actors would be Jason Statham and, of
course, [Sylvester] Stallone and [Arnold] Schwarzenegger. Those
guys are big names, and, in the movies, they are legends.
Sherdog.com: Did you grow up watching those
Arlovski: Of course. When I was a kid, I had all of the posters of
Van Damme, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris.
Sherdog.com: Turning to your fighting career, it seems like
everyone wants to talk about your relationship with your trainer,
Greg Jackson. What are some of the specific things he has been able
to teach you since you’ve joined his camp?
Arlovski: He’s helping me to be mentally strong. It’s definitely a
great place to train, because there are a lot of good fighters
there, and one of them is my good friend Travis
Browne. I have to be ready for hard training and for hard
sparring, and that is just what I like. Greg Jackson is one of the
guys who believed in me. When I asked him if I should retire, he
told me, “Absolutely not. You just need to come to Albuquerque, and
I know it is possible to help you climb back on top and be champion
again one day.” He gave me the power to believe in myself, because
he told me I was still young and have lots of energy and that I
should try one more time.
Sherdog.com: In a previous interview with us, you said you
were initially a little skeptical of what Greg might be able to
teach you. What was your impression of him?
Arlovski: When I first started training one-one-one with Greg, he
showed me some really cool stuff, and I thought, “Wow, he is always
in a good mood and always educating himself.” I could just tell he
was a really great guy.
Sherdog.com: In my opinion, you have shown improvement in
each of your last four fights. Granted, you aren’t in there with
guys like Junior dos
Santos or Cain
Velasquez, but I do think people are noticing that you are
looking much more comfortable and aggressive. How do you see
yourself climbing back to the top of the mountain and rejoining the
Top 5? That would obviously mean returning to the UFC at some
point. How do you see yourself pulling it off?
Arlovski: Everything is up to Greg Jackson, and we’ll take it one
step at a time, you know? That’s why I’m going to move to
Albuquerque next year. I’m going to spend more time in the gym over
there, because right now it’s hard to travel between Chicago and
Albuquerque, since my family is still here [in Chicago]. Next year,
I’m going to bring my family to Albuquerque. I just want to spend
more time in the gym, because I want to train more. I’m going to
take it one step at a time, because it’s going to take a couple of
years. That’s fine. I’m ready. If it takes more, I’m ready. Right
now, I just want to do everything right and listen to Greg Jackson.
I trust him 100 percent.
Sherdog.com: If you could have only one more fight in your
career, whom would you fight? It can be a rematch or someone
Arlovski: Definitely [Fedor] Emelianenko. But it’s bad for me,
because he retired, and I would have to call him back from
retirement to fight him again. But, also, all the people who I lost
to, I want to fight with them again.