UFC's Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski
ALSO: Check out our Andrei Arlovski profile for more info on The Pitbull.
After running off a six-fight win streak covering a three-year span, Andrei Arlovski, nicknamed "The Pitbull," lost his Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight crown to Tim Sylvia last April at UFC 59. With his sights set on regaining his belt in a rematch bout against Sylvia Saturday, July 8 at UFC 61, Arlovski spoke via email with fitness editor Mike Furci about his martial arts background, his toughest opponents and his desire to be crowned UFC champ again.
Bullz-Eye: Andrei, let me first thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I know that you are a very busy person, especially being only a couple of weeks out from your rubber match with Tim Sylvia.
Andrei Arlovski: Thank you for having me on your site.
BE: What do your family and friends back in Russia think of your career in the UFC?
AA: My family and friends are proud of my career. They were very proud when I was champion.
BE: Were you in athletics as a child? If you were, what sports did you play?
AA: I was always athletic. I was a goalie in soccer and I lifted weights.
BE: How did you get your start in martial arts?
AA: Police Academy in Belarus. It is part of training and I learned Sambo.
BE: At the tender age of only 19 you were a SAMBO bronze medalist at a World Championship Tournament. Please describe to our readers what the SAMBO style martial art is.
AA: One year later I was world champion. Sambo is a martial art from the Russian military. It is a lot like Judo.
BE: At what point did you decide you wanted to compete in the UFC?
AA: I always want to challenge myself and I was offered opportunity to try UFC.
BE: Who are some of your favorite fighters in the UFC?
AA: I respect Randy Couture and Chuck Lidell.
BE: I am going to say a series of names and I would like you to give a word or short description of each.
Royce Gracie: One of the best Jui-Jitsu players.
Randy Couture: A legend of UFC.
Tito Ortiz: One of most popular fighters.
Matt Hughes: Man who’s held his title for long time; very good fighter.
Justin Eilers: Good fighter.
Chuck Liddel: Champion/Legend.
Rich Franklin: Champion.
Tim Sylvia: My next opponent.
BE: It’s been said your fight with Ian Freeman at UFC 40, coming off of two-straight losses, was your make-or-break fight. Do you consider the win against Freeman to be a turning point in your career?
AA: Yes. It started three-year win streak.
BE: How has Andrei Arlovski’s life changed over the last four years? You literally have gone from obscurity to celebrity.
AA: My life didn’t change a lot. I am the same Andrei Arlovski. Only difference is a lot of people recognize me in the street.
BE: I believe you are a people’s champion. Fans who haven’t even met you refer to you as a “really good guy.” People seem to admire the fact that you do not trash talk your opponents. You are all business, and you let what goes on in the ring do the talking. Is this the real Arlovski or is it a persona you’re trying to create?
AA: Thank you. Very nice to say. This is real Andrei Arlovski.
BE: Out of all the fighters you’ve faced, who do you consider to be your greatest adversary and why?
AA: Pedro Rizzo was my hardest fight, and I was hit very hard. I do not like enemies, I like to train hard, fight and try (to) win.BE: At only 27 years old you already have many highlights in your career. What do you consider to be your greatest highlight?
AA: Winning the HW championship was my biggest highlight. It showed I was top of my game.
BE: What qualities do you feel somebody needs in order to be a top UFC fighter?
AA: I only know for heavyweight. I think: 1. character, 2. speed, 3. technique.
BE: Andrei, I have to get this question out of the way. Many people have surmised that the “Pitbull” wasn’t quite himself during his last fight with Tim Sylvia. What are your thoughts?
AA: I was Pitbull. But I made a mistake and I have learned from my mistake. I hope to win July 8th.
BE: Are you approaching your fight on July 8th differently than your previous fight with Sylvia?
AA: No. I am not approaching it different but I learned from what happened and the experience makes me better. I hope.
BE: What would it mean to you to be named UFC World Heavyweight Champion on July 8th?
AA: A lot. It’s my life. I still wake up in the middle of the night and think about my belt. I want to win.
BE: Having been a trainer and strength coach for many years, I’m curious about your training routine. I know that we could do an entire article about your training, but what does a typical training day look like?
AA: I don’t always lift weights. Depends on time before fight. But training for fights include boxing at Jabb Gym, Jui-Jitsu at Pow Gym. My strength conditioning coach is Oleg Danilov.
BE: Do you take any supplements?
AA: I take GAMMA-O. It helps make me stronger and helps after work out.
BE: What does your diet consist of and does it change while training for a fight?
AA: My diet always changes depending on what point of training. I eat lots of fish, chicken, steak. Right now I also eat carbs.
BE: Do you do any charity work?
AA: Yes. I did event with Children’s Memorial last year and I like to help with Pitbull Rescue and since I was police officer in Belarus, I want to help with fallen police officer charity.
BE: What do you like most about being a successful professional fighter?
AA: I like the challenge. I like to be healthy and to be professional in and out of the octagon.
BE: What is Andrei Arlovski’s number one philosophy?
AA: I have a couple. I believe everything happens for a reason and that I need to stay honest with myself.
BE: Is there anybody you would like to thank?
AA: Yes. I want to thank you for the interview, Team Pitbull, my family/friends and all of my fans that still believe in me after my loss April 15th. They helped me bounce back quickly.
BE: Andrei, I would like to thank you for your time, it’s been a pleasure. I would also like to wish you good luck from some of my brother firefighters on the Lorain Fire Department who are big fans of yours.
To contact Andrei and to see some great video highlights, visit the following websites: