In what was one of the greatest heavyweight fight of all time, Andrei Arlovski brutally knocked out Travis Browne at UFC 187. The two exciting bruisers met on the PPV (pay-per-view) section of the stacked Las Vegas card, and won Fight Of The Night honors for the swift yet thoroughly exciting slugfest. ‘The Pitbull’ and ‘Hapa’ exchanged wild knockout blows from the start, so much so that you would think they were bitter rivals. The reality is something quite different.
Arlovski and Browne have trained extensively together while they were both at Greg Jackson‘s in New Mexico, and once lived together. The issue of fighting friends was not in the way when Joe Silva called both guys ahead of UFC 187, but the Belarusian knockout artist says it hurt pretty bad having to blast his amigo in such brutal fashion. Check out what ‘The Pitbull’ said during a live video chat, as transcribed by MMAFighting.com:
“Of course it’s nice to have a victory, but deep inside … bad feelings, I feel like it’s exactly what I said, like I punched my mother or father … my brother. Victory is victory, of course. I’m happy I made some money. Hopefully it’s the first and last time I fight my friend.”
“I told him, ‘Listen, brother Travis. I’m sorry to whoop your ass.’ He’s a real gentleman guy. I’m talking right now and have tears in my eyes.”
Combat sports is unique in that it’s the only field of play where two men or women that consider themselves close enough to be relatives will beat the snot out of one another. It’s a cold fact, but the two didn’t necessarily have to agree to a bout, and many have refused such offers in the past. Former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre and Tristar training buddy and student Rory MacDonald are a prime example.
Arlovski offers further insight, claiming there were no hard feelings from his good friend after the fight:
“Don’t ever f***ing say you’re sorry,” Browne told Arlovski. “You understand? I love you man. You better go get that strap now, you hear me? It’s your job.”
“Listen, I’m not a 20, 25 year-old guy who doesn’t give a f**k about friendship,” Arlovski says. “Who just thinks about money. With experience you have different priorities in your life. Friendship for me, right now, is more important than being on top.”
What’s next for his former team mate ‘Hapa’ is a long journey if he ever wants to fight for a title. That being said, it’s not like heavyweight is the deepest division in the UFC. One or two decent wins will put Browne right back in the picture, Arlovski on the other hand has plenty of scope for a huge fight in his next outing.
Perhaps a rematch of Arlovski vs Fabricio Werdum from UFC 70 is on the horizon? The ex-heavyweight champion scored a unanimous decision victory over the Brazilian ‘Vai Cavalo’, and if Werdum is able to beat Cain Velasquez at UFC 188, we may just have a number one contender in the number four-ranked ‘Pitbull’.
Do you think Andrei Arlovski should get the next title shot?