Andrei Arlovski post-fight interview
The rubber match between the Pitbull and the Maniac in front of a sold out house at Mandalay Bay did not end as explosively as the first two bouts. After dominating the match for five rounds, Tim “The Maniac” Sylvia defended his belt by beating Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in a decision at UFC 61. It was obvious to many watching the fight that something just wasn’t right with Arlovski. Andrei just didn’t seem to have anything on his punches, and never took the fight to the ground, which is a strong aspect of his game. The day after the fight, there were rumors of Andrei possibly getting injured during the fight and being suspended for not reporting those injuries during the match. I was fortunate to be able to get a post fight interview with the Pitbull to set the record straight.
Bullz-Eye: Andrei, thank you for doing this post-fight interview. I know the last thing one wants to do after a loss is talk.
AA: No problem, it’s okay.
BE: How are you feeling? Both you and Tim Sylvia were pretty banged up. In fact Tim Sylvia said, “What a war.”
AA: I am disappointed with the loss mentally.
BE: How long did you train for the fight on July 8?
AA: I started training three months before UFC 59. Then I took three weeks off; trained through July 8.
BE: Did your training go as planned? And how did you feel as the fight got closer?
AA: Training went very well. I was prepared. I felt great and I was ready for the fight.
BE: Is there anything you would change building up to the fight now that you can look back?
AA: I wouldn’t necessarily change, but I add a few more things to training.
BE: When the fight was over all I could say was, “What a slug fest.” You guys really beat the piss out of each other. You landed some great punches, but they just didn’t seem to have quite enough on them to take Sylvia out. Is that a fair observation?
BE: Tim Sylvia said in his post-fight interview that you are a tough, tough guy and you must have fixed your chin because he couldn’t put you away. Did you and your team feel your chin was a weak point and did you do anything different to correct it?
AA: My chin is fine. My chin was always fine.
BE: You obviously have excellent grappling skills. I was a little surprised that you didn’t take the fight to the ground especially after the second round. Was your game plan to keep the fight off the mat and why?
AA: We had plans to take the fight to the ground at some point. But due to certain circumstances, I could not execute it.
BE: Tim Sylvia obviously has a great deal of respect for you, but says he dictated the entire fight. Is that the way you see the fight?
AA: I did what I could under the circumstances. I don’t want to judge.
BE: I know you are a good man and do not like to talk trash, but Sylvia says this fight will shut up all the people who thought his being champion was a fluke. He feels this fight shows who the real champion is. How do you feel about that?
AA: Tim is the champion today. I respect that he is champion.
BE: A lot of UFC fans were disappointed the fight wasn’t more exciting; however, I feel true fans of MMA (mixed martial arts) appreciated the high level of skill both of you exhibited in your “stand-up”. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans that were booing?
AA: I am also disappointed that I was unable to live up to my potential and demonstrate what I was prepared to do.
BE: Is it true you were suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for not reporting an injury during the fight?
AA: I do not want to talk about my injuries or look for any other excuses.
BE: How long before your injuries heal up?
AA: Time will tell.
BE: You have such a good outlook and never offer up excuses for your losses. How does it feel to be thought of as such a positive role model?
AA: I just try to live my life, train hard and do the best that I can. If my life and accomplishments affect other people in a positive way or inspire (them) to do right thing, it’s a blessing to me.
BE: Andrei, the championship fight on July 8 was a war. Even though it did not go your way, I feel we will be seeing a lot more of the Pitbull in the future. What is next for you?
AA: I will take some time off to rest and heal. And I will be back in training and get ready for my next fight.
BE: Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
AA: I would like to thank God, my team, training partners, friends, family, sponsors, and I would especially like to thank my fans for their support, win or lose.
BE: Andrei, thanks again. Good luck.
During the interview, as you probably could tell reading it, Andrei was very reluctant to talk about “certain circumstances” that hindered his performance. During the second round of the fight Andrei blocked a kick with his leg and ended up with an injury that obviously hindered his performance. His reluctance to discuss this really shows what type of athlete and person he is. He will never offer up an excuse for his performance. However, I am of the opinion that you can talk about the circumstances surrounding a fight, including injuries, without looking like you’re giving an excuse for your loss.
I was very curious about the severity and type of injury Andrei incurred, as I’m sure all his fans are. I decided to contact Leo Khrolinsky, Team Pitbull manager.
BE: Leo, let me first thank you for taking the time to discuss Andrei’s fight against Tim Sylvia.
Leo Khrolinsky: You’re welcome.
BE: What is your opinion of Andrei’s training leading up to the fight?
LK: In my opinion, Andrei was very well prepared for the fight. He trained very hard for UFC 59 and had only two weeks off before he began training for UFC 61. He was well rounded and ready for Tim.
BE: Were there any injuries during his training leading up to July 8?
LK: He sustained an injury to his ankle a few weeks ago that was attended to. Every now and then you get hurt while training, but that is normal.
BE: After the second round it just seemed that Andrei, although throwing some good strikes, just didn’t have his usual power behind them. I heard the second round is when the injury occurred. Can you give us an account of what happened?
LK: Andrei doesn’t want us to talk about this. He sustained an injury to his kneecap and his left foot. During the actual fight, he didn’t tell his corner he was injured because he did not want us to stop the fight.
BE: Did Andrei have an MRI performed?
LK: We have an MRI scheduled for his foot, ankle and knee on Monday. We will see the doctor on Tuesday for the results.
BE: So there is no prognosis yet?
LK: Not yet. His knee and foot are swollen and we need the MRI to tell us if there is a problem.
BE: What affect did these injuries have on his ability to fight?
LK: After we learned about his injuries, it explained why he fought the way he did the fourth and fifth round. His punches lacked his power, his movement was off and now we understand why he couldn’t execute a take down.
BE: Did the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspend Andrei for not reporting his injuries during the fight?
LK: I am not sure if he is required to report the injury and we are not sure that there is actually a suspension.
BE: Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t covered?
LK: Thank you for your time to write this article and thank you to all his fans for their support.
BE: Thanks again Leo.