KACPER: Alright guys, our next guest is a
former three-time UFC Heavyweight champion, a contender for “Fight of the Year” after his crazy fight
against Travis Browne at UFC 187, and most recently he defeated Frank Mir at UFC 191.
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome back Andrei Arlovski to Submission Radio. Andrei
How are you? ANDREI: I’m good. How are you?
DENIS: Very well Andrei, and thank you for coming onto the show and congratulations on
your big win over Frank last weekend. We have to ask you, how is the hand doing? We know
you hurt your hand. What’s the latest news on the hand?
ANDREI: Everything’s okay. I saw the doctor today – a couple of hours ago – and it’s just
bruised and that’s it. Nothing’s injured bad. I’m not seriously injured or some broken bones
or something. It’s just a bruise. KACPER: Oh, awesome. ‘Cause I know beforehand
the reports were saying that if it was broken you may not be fighting till March. Obviously
it’s just a bruise. I gotta ask, how long do you think before we see you back in the
octagon? ANDREI: I’m not gonna start [training] earlier
than October because obviously I wanna have a rest, and after that it’s up to the UFC.
I’m ready to fight around December, January. So it’s totally up to the UFC.
DENIS: And, you know, just on that topic Andrei, obviously there’s a massive card here in Melbourne;
UFC 193 at the end of November. There’s a lot of rumors about Fedor Emelianenko possibly
being on that card. If the UFC offered you that fight, would you take it on such short
notice? ANDREI: Sold. Sold.
KACPER: Sorry? ANDREI: Of course. Any time, any day. I said
Sold. Anytime, anywhere. KACPER: We’re like the Ari Gold of radio shows.
We basically make fights on the show. Well look, we wanna talk about your most recent
fight against Frank Mir, just want to get your thoughts in general. You know, you beat
a resurging Frank Mir, however afterwards you were visibly disappointed. Looking back
now, how do you summarize the fight? ANDREI: Well first of all, I was a little
disappointed because instead of being locked in my room and being focused on my upcoming
match, I just was kind of busy seeing my friends, which is really bad. I wouldn’t do this before
my next fight for sure. And for some reason I thought I was gonna beat him in the first
round. But the fight went like three rounds and I kind of woke up in the third round.
Victory is victory for sure, but I didn’t like my performance.
DENIS: I’m just curious, you mentioned something about your friends. It wasn’t very clear.
What do you mean Andrei about seeing your friends? How did that affect the fight?
ANDREI: I mean like, you know, when I came on Tuesday in Las Vegas I was good. Wednesday
I was like…whew, I was like on fire when I hit mitts. Thursday I was kind of tired.
Some other people came to see me from Russia, Belarus and from Chicago, Florida, you know.
That’s why I tried to be nice and I had been with one company and then later with the other
company. I just lost a lot of energy and I almost lost the fight. So I didn’t like my
performance, but I took a lesson (from it) of course. It’s not gonna happen again.
KACPER: Well that’s good to hear. I mean, it was a fight that it seemed like the disappointment
was in the air. There was a lot of negative posts on social media and websites and journalists
and the fighters. How hard was that negative backlash after UFC 191 to deal with, and how
do you deal with such negativity? ANDREI: You know what, I just don’t want to
be rude, but F**k all the people. It’s just easy to stay on the couch and say something.
Just put your gloves on and step in the octagon with someone. Listen, I did what I did. That
night I did like…I dunno….I think I did. And actually I’m happy about some parts of
the fight. For example when he took me down, he looked for a Kimura. I just escaped, I
got out, and by the cage I pretty much controlled him the whole time. So there were some good
parts of the fight that I was happy about. But of course it wasn’t a KO, and that’s why
people think ‘oh it like…’. But it’s not the worst performance. I saw the fight a few
times already and I won every round compared to the judges. I don’t even listen or read
some stuff from the internet. DENIS: Let me ask you Andre, after the fight
you mentioned that you didn’t expect that Frank Mir would go hard for three rounds.
I’m just wondering, did that surprise you at all? And why did you not think that he
would go like that? ANDREI: Because usually what I saw (from him),
and especially when I studied with my coaches for him, he was like aggressive all the time
of the first three minutes of the first round. And I think Overeem when he fought Frank Mir,
he did like a very good jab, it was a smart fight. So I thought it was going to be kind
of same situation, same scenario. But I was wrong and we fought three rounds and yeah.
I beat him by decision, of course I wanna knock him out, but I got the decision.
KACPER: Yeah, well I mean when you mentioned that you didn’t expect him to go hard for
three rounds, we kind of thought – because you guys used to train at Jackson/Winkeljohn’s
together, you know, I wondering, how much did you guys spar together, how much experience
did you guys have together? Did you base you fight expectations on those sparring sessions
that you guys had as well? ANDREI: We didn’t train much, because you’re
absolutely right. He was at Albuquerque a few times, I mean I guess he prepared for
two of his fights in Albuquerque with Greg Jackson and Winkeljohn. But pretty much all
the time he left every week on Thursday and came back on Monday because he flew to Vegas
to be with his family. So that’s why I guess we had a few sparring sessions and a few rounds
and a few wrestling sessions. That’s it. DENIS: Yeah, I mean you found a lot of success
in the fight Andrei when you focused on your left hand as opposed to your right. Do you
think that if you had adjusted earlier in the fight you might’ve had a bit more success
and possibly finished Frank? ANDREI: I’ll tell you one thing, if I did
everything how I was supposed to prepare, if I did everything how it was supposed to
be like for the fight, how it was before my fight with Travis Browne, I guarantee you
I probably would’ve knocked him out in the first round, and I wouldn’t have given him
one chance to touch me or take me down or something. But like I said, I did something
wrong before the fight. So I almost paid for this. Of course I’m very disappointed, but
like I said, a victory is a victory and also that why I apologized. I wrote some message
on my instagram to the people. You know I have a lot of good comments from people. They
said “I don’t have to apologize, a fight is a fight, that the fight was not an excellent
fight but it was a good fight”, some people wrote to me. Of course a lot of people tried
to write something bad on the internet or something, but at the same time I had a lot
of good comments and I’m happy about that. KACPER: Yeah, sure, sure.
ANDREI: At least I’m honest. I said, at least I’m honest. I said how I felt and I wrote
how I felt and I know what I did wrong. This was the most important thing for me.
KACPER: Oh that’s absolutely fine Andrei. We’ll move on in a moment and talk about what’s
next, but before that, I’ve still got just a couple more questions in regards to…one
of the things that Denis and I noticed, you weighed in four pounds lighter than your last
fight against Travis Browne. It’s not a huge weight difference, you looked slightly smaller
though. I’m just wondering whether…you know, was there any particular reason why you came
in lighter? ANDREI: (laughs) because I have a good nutritionist
and I tried to eat right. But I think that for this fight I thought I was probably gonna
be around 240, 242, maximum 245 pounds, but I was 237. That’s not good, so I was a little
bit light. But every heavyweight right now tries to be like not (huge) anymore – except
Frank Mir of course. He was like 256, 266 pounds. I think it’s the right weight for
heavyweights to be about 240 to 245 pounds. So that’s why I changed my diet and watching
everything that I’m eating. DENIS: Mmm, it was noticeable Andrei. Now
before this fight, many people wanted to see you fight for the title and rematch Fabricio
Werdum, and it was apparently down to you or Stipe Miocic. We never got to ask you what
your reaction was when you originally got the Frank Mir fight, but were you disappointed
that you didn’t get the title shot, and do you think that after this Frank Mir fight
it might’ve hurt your chances at all of getting the next shot at Werdum? Or do you think it’s
likely that you may get the next shot at Werdum after Velasquez?
ANDREI: I wasn’t that much disappointed because I don’t want to sit on the bench. Like first
I heard Werdum said he wanted to fight – I mean it depends on his fight at the end of
December, then January, now it’s gonna be March. I don’t want to sit too much. The reason
why I agreed to the (Frank Mir) fight; first of all, I thought it was supposed to be an
interesting fight for the UFC, for fans. And also, top 10, top 15 fighters at Heavyweight
right now are usually very tough, they’re very dangerous, and a real man doesn’t sit
and pick the fights. Especially, I never picked my opponents. So UFC asked me “do I wanna
fight Frank?”. I said “yeah, why not, of course. When?”, they said “September”. I said “sold”.
I just wanna stay busy and I wanna fight as soon as possible.
KACPER: You’re an easy-going guy. So okay, obviously if the fight is happening in March,
you’re gonna fight before. Like, even if Velasquez and Werdum have a definitive outcome, you’ll
take a fight before then, correct? ANDREI: One more time.
KACPER: Like, because they’re fighting in March, which is what like six months away,
and then they’ll need to rest and things like that, you’ll take a fight before then, correct?
ANDREI: Oh of course. Absolutely, absolutely. KACPER: Well the interesting thing about your
next fight is that last time…. ANDRE: I’m sorry to interrupt you. I would
love to fight before the end of the year if I’m gonna have no injuries.
KACPER: Before the end of the year. Well I mean yeah, it ties in perfectly with our next
question. Last time we had you on the show you mentioned that you still get nightmares
about the Fedor fight. Given that Fedor’s coming back to MMA, possibly the UFC, is it
safe to say that your pretty excited about possibly getting a rematch.
ANDREI: Yup, I’m very excited and I promise you it’s gonna be a really good fight. And
I will do everything possible to pay him pack by KO. I’m going to knock his ass out.
DENIS: It’s interesting because a lot of people are saying that Fedor coming into the UFC
now isn’t the Fedor that fought back then. I just wanna get your opinion Andrei. do you
think that the time off from MMA will hurt Fedor? Or do you think he can get into the
UFC and get back to his winning ways like he once did?
ANDREI: To be honest with you, I think it’s a rumor and it’s BS that he’s gonna come back
to the UFC first of all. Secondly, of course I would love for him to get in the UFC and
fight him again to have a rematch. But if you’re asking about if he’s kind of old or
not, I don’t think so. Because I think a heavyweight’s prime time is like 36 to like 40 I think.
It’s my opinion, I think it’s the best prime time for the fighter. And Also you have a
great example, Randy Couture. He fought, I guess till age 47. In boxing you’ve got George
Foreman. And I think it’s a good time for heavyweights, good age.
KACPER: Well the interesting thing is a lot of Fedor fans have said that if he is signed
to the UFC, they’d like to see him get a title shot straight away because of his legacy and
past success. What do you think? Would he deserve an immediate shot?
ANDREI: C’mon let’s be serious. Of course not he won’t have a title shot. Who’s gonna
give him a title shot right away? KACPER: You think he has to prove himself
in the UFC first, correct? ANDREI: Not prove, but at least he (has to
have a fight). It’s my opinion. I don’t know, maybe the UFC is gonna do something different
if they’re gonna sign him. But I think at least he has to have a couple of fights, and
then a title shot. DENIS: Well let me ask you Andrei, if you
did get this Fedor rematch you mentioned that the first fight obviously didn’t go the way
you planned it. How do you see this fight going down if you did get a rematch with Fedor?
How would you see the fight playing out? ANDREI: No more flying knees and I’m gonna
do everything possible to knock him out. It was such a stupid move from my side when I
jumped with the flying knee. Idiot. KACPER: I remember last time you were on the
show we spoke about it, how much you regret it. I just wanna switch gears for a second
Andrei, your teammate Alistair Overeem, your fellow Jackson/Winkeljohn teammate, he’ll
be fighting Junior Dos Santos at UFC on FOX 17. You guys train together, will you be helping
him prepare for Junior in the upcoming fight? ANDREI: Junior Dos Santos?
KACPER: Alistair Overeem. You guys train together. Will you be helping Alistair prepare for Junior?
ANDREI: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I never trained with Junior Dos Santos.
KACPER: No, no I mean like training with Alistair Overeem though?
ANDREI: Ah, Alistair Overeem. KACPER: Yup.
ANDREI: Oh I’m sorry I didn’t hear the first part of the question. I think it’s gonna be
an interesting fight, especially for me. You’re certainly right, I train with Alistair Overeem
and his punches, his kicks, his legs are both to me awesome. I think it’s gonna be a good
fight. But, my only concern is if Overeem gonna be in good shape and he’s gonna be ready
for three…they have a main event? Is it a main event?
KACPER: No, there’s a title fight, Cerrone and Rafael Dos Anjos. So it’ll be three rounds.
ANDREI: Ah, because it’s a three five-minute rounds, he has to be in good shape to fight
15 minutes. Because I was surprised when Junior Dos Santos fought Miocic. He kind of was like
tired in the first two, three rounds – two, two and a half rounds. But after the fourth
and fifth rounds he came back and he looked like he just warmed up and he was ready to
go. DENIS: Let me ask you something Andrei, because
a lot of people feel like Junior Dos Santos isn’t the same fighter after the beating that
he took from Cain Velasquez. He’s obviously taken a lot of headshots, and in his last
fight against Stipe a lot of people weren’t that impressed. Do you think he can still
be the same fighter he once was? Or do you think it’s a case that he has taken quite
a bit of damage in the division? ANDREI: I don’t know what to tell you. Honestly
I don’t know. A lot of people said that I should’ve retired after (losing) four fights
in a row and I got KO’d by Emelianenko and Kharitonov and Brett Rogers. And everybody
said “listen, Arlovski’s done, this and that, too much punches to the head”. But I did a
medical exam, everything’s fine deep inside I knew I wasn’t done. So it depends how he
feels, what his opinion is, what his goals are, and that’s it. How bad he wants to be
a champion again. That’s why I think it’s gonna be a big motivation to everyone, for
each fighter. I’m talking at least about myself, but I don’t know what to tell you to be honest
with you. KACPER: No I mean there’s a lot of parallels
obviously, and we can understand you talking about your career and your career resurgence.
You’re at the point where, you know, your career is in a different path and now people
are talking about you fighting for the title. I’m just curious though, if Alistair Overeem
wins against Junior Dos Santos, obviously you’ve won Frank Mir, you guys are gonna be
in similar positions in regards to a title shot and you’d both have rightful claims.
We know how much you didn’t want to face Travis Browne, your friend and former training partner.
If you had to fight Alistair to get the title shot , would you guys be able to put the friendship
aside, or would it be too much to ask? ANDREI: Well to be honest you, I’m not close
friends with Alistair. I was just friends with Travis, and listen, business is business
and I kind of have a bad feeling they’re gonna put me against Overeem. So I’m gonna fight
him of course. He’s my teammate, but listen, everybody has to make money, everybody has
to make decisions. I’m talking about my coaches and how it’s gonna be. So that’s it.
DENIS: Yeah certainly, and obviously Andrei you’ve accomplished so much in your career,
and you fought the biggest names in the sport, you’re a two-time former world champion. What
would it mean to you to become the UFC champion on more time?
ANDREI: It’s huge – and by the way, I was a three-time world champion, just in case.
It’s my dream, like I said you know, I choose what’s more important for me right now, and
for me it’s very important to rebuild my career again. Of course I wanna be a champion again,
and I will do everything possible to reach my goal. (I’ve got) the right people right
now around my, right coaches, good teammates, good place for camps, my wife and my family
one hundred percent support me. She understands that it’s very important for me what I’m doing
right now, and I’m just ready to go. I still have the fire in my eyes and that’s it. I
have everything, like you know, to train hard, and just like follow my dreams and catch my
dreams and be a champion again. KACPER: Mmm, absolutely. Well we’ve been absolutely
enjoying watching the journey. Andrei I’ve got one more question before we let you go,
and that is what would you say it more important to you? Becoming the champion again for a
fourth time, or rematching and avenging Fedor your loss to Fedor Emelianenko?
ANDREI: Don’t get me wrong, if I’m gonna tell you I wanna fight Emelianenko, period. And
that’s it. No of course I wanna be a champion, but if I will have an opportunity to fight
Emelianenko, it’s gonna be awesome. It’s gonna be great. But of course it doesn’t really
matter what I want, it’s up to the UFC obviously. But if I’m gonna have, like you said, an opportunity
and take a fight on short notice against Emelianenko, of course I will take that fight. But if I’m
gonna have an opportunity to fight for the title like in a month or two for example from
today; if they tell me “oh you have to be in camp and be ready and you’re gonna have
a title fight”. Okay, don’t get me wrong, of course I’m gonna take the title fight.
But, like I said, of course I’ve never picked my opponents and I wanna fight for the title
because I wanna be a champion, but of course I wanna fight also Emelianenko. I need a rematch,
I want a rematch. But it’s totally up to the UFC. If they decide to for example for my
next fight put me against Emelianenko, great. If they’re gonna put me in my next fight against
the champion, it’s awesome too. So it’s totally up to the UFC. But, if they’re gonna ask me
“what kind of visions you have, who you wanna fight next?”, I’m gonna explain obviously
and they’re going to decide what’s next for me. That’s it.
DENIS: Well there you guys go. We don’t know what’s next for Andrei Arlovski, but it’s
something big. It could be at UFC 193 against Fedor Emelianenko or it could be another title
fight, hopefully within 2015. You can follow Andrei Arlovski on twitter at @AndreiArlovski
and check out his website www.arlovski.com. It’s great to hear that your hand isn’t as
hurt as we thought it was, and all the best Andrei. Thank you for coming onto the show.
ANDREI: Thank you very much for having me. Thank you, bye bye.