Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is finally back in the winner’s column.
Arlovski hadn’t picked up a victory inside the Octagon since September of 2015 before last night (Sat. November 11, 2017) in Norfolk, Virginia, as he took home a unanimous decision win over Junior Albini. “The Pitbull” had suffered five-straight losses to the likes of Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Francis Ngannou, and Marcin Tybura. He was finished in four out of those five defeats.
Shortly after his victory, Arlovski spoke to the media to discuss his bout with Albini, crediting sticking to his game plan for the positive result (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Finally my hard work pays off and for the first time in a long, long time I stick to my gameplan,” Arlovski said. “It was not 100 percent, but 95 percent. I kept my hands up. Coach told me, ‘Don’t clinch,’ but I clinched a couple times. I’m very happy now.”
Arlovski claimed to have no ill will towards his opponent, and in fact, went to check on him in the medical room afterward in a sign of respect:
“I have a lot of respect for Junior,” Arlovski said. “I came after the fight to the medical room, and I wished him luck in his future fights. Respect. Tonight it wasn’t personal, it was just business. Tonight I think I needed it more than he does. Of course I look for the KO, but my coach said when I go out, and I just need to keep my hands up. I did this pretty well.”
The former UFC champ claimed he’d be ready to get back to work come early 2018 and was simply relieved to have ‘finally’ broken his long string of losses:
“I want to go back home to my wife and my son, but I think I’ll be ready by February or March,” Arlovski said. “Of course it’s up to Dana White and the UFC. 2016 sucks for me, beginning and middle of the year in 2017 was same thing. Finally I broke the streak of losing fights.”