It wasn’t long ago fans were calling for heavyweight Andrei Arlovski to consider retirement after suffering a series of knockout losses. However, the former UFC champion has put together a solid run over the last two years including four wins and a finish of Tim Sylvia ruled a No Contest based on some confusion surrounding kicks to a downed opponent.
Arlovski is out to score another instance of success this weekend at WSOF 2 where he’ll face Anthony Johnson in the evening’s main event. If victorious, Arlovski will do so with the support of famed trainer Greg Jackson in his corner who he recently credited with helping restore his reputation as a respectable competitor.
“I paid too much attention to boxing. I wanted to try professional boxing. That’s why I didn’t focus on wrestling and jiu-jitsu, and it hurt me,” admitted Arlovski to MMAJunkie of his lackluster stretch prior to moving his camp to Jackson’s gym in New Mexico.
One of the aspects of the environment Arlovski likes is the wealth of talent ready to work with him on any given day.
“It’s good to have light heavyweights and heavyweights because they’re not going to be too relaxed in the sparring or the wrestling sessions. You have to be ready all the time to do something or defend something,” he explained before referring to a few of the teammates he’s worked with leading up to Saturday night’s scrap. “The last two weeks have been going very, very good for me because I spar a lot with Travis Browne and Jon Jones, and it definitely helped me a lot for my fight.”
Browne is a 13-1-1 heavyweight contender in the UFC, while Jones is of course the UFC light heavyweight champ with status as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
The 19-9 Arlovski has finished seventeen of the opponents he’s beaten including fourteen by way of strikes. The bout against Johnson will be his second for WSOF with a first-frame knockout in his organizational debut. Fans can catch it live on NBC Sports starting at 9:30 EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – SHERDOG/PROELITE