Andrei Arlovski Released By Affliction: What Now?
According to ESPN.Com and other websites Affliction has terminated the contract of Andrei Arlovski. Of course the loss to Fedor did not help his cause nor hurt it, but the KO by Brett Rogers made the questions about his jaw come to the front. Affliction who reportedly paid Andrei $1.5 million in his loss to Fedor decided that his days as a top tier fighter were over. Many magazines and sites still had the Pitbull as a top heavyweight until the loss to Rogers and it is doubtful that he will be considered a top contender until he beats fighters who do not end up fighting on a TUF card!
Many people along with myself at one time believed that Andrei would be a force in the heavyweight division for years. However two losses to Tim Sylvia and some lack luster performances set up doubts. But to quote Mickey from Rocky III the worse thing that could happen to a fighter happened to Andrei “he got civilized.” In his early fights Andrei charged his opponents and let them have little breathing room. He beat people standing and on the ground, it was a smothering and brutal style that made him popular and feared.
But he got “civilized”, waxed his body hair, cut his hair, and started becoming a more “disciplined” striker. He focused on boxing instead of striking and seemed to forget the ground game. Instead of smothering his fighters with a flurry of strikes, Andrei tried to methodically pick them apart like a boxer would. The “Pitbull” changed his stripes and instead became a “Cat” in a dog fight. Sure at times he looked good against inferior opponents who did not possess knockout power, but the big guys had none of that. Many people say it started with Sylvia vs. Arlovski II, but in fact it began before that after he KO’d Buentello. The hype became more than the fighter and the fighter suffered.
Where does Andrei go from here? Hopefully back to a cave or something to train. He needs to actually pull something out of a Rocky movie, like IV where he trained in Siberia. Forget the clubs and nice gyms, get rid of the entourage, and get back to basics. First get rid of Freddie Roach or any other trainer who does not watch MMA. This makes no sense what so ever, it would be like hiring a pitching coach who does not watch baseball! Take some time out of the spotlight, perhaps go to Thailand and train Muay Thai in the jungles like Kenny Florian and others have. Or go to Brazil and train with Machida or Silva and Noguiera. Get away from the fans, business people, and yes men who tell you how great you are. Forget the media, websites, etc… and get the edge back. And forget the boxing career, you made your mark in MMA and the only thing a boxing promoter would want now is to have you KO’d by a boxer to prove boxing is superior to MMA anyways. Without a quick comeback in this sport you will soon be forgotten, another loss and no one will want you anyways.