Photo by Jack Bratcher /

Former UFC heavyweight champion and current Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Andrei Arlovski (15-7) just went through one of the roughest years of his life. In Jan. 2009, he was knocked unconscious by Fedor Emelianenko (31-1) 3:14 into the first round at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning“. Arlovski started the fight out nicely, looked to be winning, but he made one mistake and it cost him dearly.

However, the loss was to Fedor, the fighter considered “the most dangerous man on the planet.” He was the consensus number one heavyweight in the world. At least that fact could possibly ease the pain a little for Arlovski.

Five months later Arlovski climbed back into the cage against up-and-coming heavyweight Brett Rogers (10-1) at “Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields“. Rogers was considered nowhere near the caliber of fighter as Arlovski’s previous opponent. There were very few MMA experts giving Rogers a chance, and most considered him just a stepping stone against the experienced striking of Arlovski.

It took Brett Rogers just :22 seconds to stop Arlovski. The crowd was stunned, but most likely not near as stunned as Arlovski who did not even get the chance to fire off a single punch.

Now nine months later, Andrei Arlovski prepares to enter the cage once again. On May 15, the Belarusian will face the 6’4” Brazilian “Bigfoot”, Antonio Silva (13-2) at “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery” in St. Louis, Mo.

It is the first time in a long time Arlovski seems mentally where he needs to be to compete. He made some significant changes with his training and sought the help of a sports psychologist, and what we have is a renewed and reinvigorated Arlovski, the likes of which we have not seen in years. took part in a Strikeforce conference call on Thursday in which Arlovski spoke about the mistakes he made going into the fight with Rogers, “I didn’t stick with my game plan, I didn’t take Rogers serious, and the result was I got knocked out in less than 20 seconds.”

For this upcoming fight Arlovski knows he has to be prepared if the fight goes to the ground. Silva is a black belt in jiu-jitsu and can submit you as well as knock you out. Arlovski said he trained a lot on the ground for this fight and spent two weeks training at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, and also two weeks with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque.

Regarding his time at AKA, Arlovski spoke specifically about working with Cain Velasquez and Mike Kyle. He said it was a great experience for him and would love to do it again. He also said Velasquez is very tough and gave him a really hard time.

Anyone who has seen an interview or been at a press conference with Arlovski in the past couple of years knows how unenthusiastic he has been. One might even call it depression. He just seemed very lifeless.

The Arlovski that was on Thursday’s conference call was a completely different person. He was jovial, gracious, and humorous. It was like he got his personality back. Whether it was the sports psychologist, the change in training regimen, or a combination of it all, the fact of the matter is Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski has been reborn.

One thought on “The rebirth of Andrei Arlovski”
  1. Good news. I hope Arlovski makes a comeback. Had a chance to meet Arlovski and a photo op when he was hanging out at a Chicago Arts Festival.

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