Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir were both coming off nasty KO wins when they faced one another at UFC 191. So when their co-main event turned out to be a more cautious affair than some fans had expected, they complained on message boards and elsewhere.
Arlovski has no patience for their armchair criticism. "You know what, I just don't want to be rude, but f--- all the people," he told Submission Radio.
"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."
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Some fans, it seems, look at real fights as if they were video games. For example, there's a good argument that neither Arlovski nor Mir should have been fighting as soon after their previous bouts as they did, to begin with.
Arlovski's KO win over Travis Browne came in late May, and he no doubt took a lot of damage to the brain in the brutal bout. Without much rest and recovery, Arlovski then accepted the fight with Mir and reportedly had only about four weeks to train for it.
Mir fought even more recently, in July. And though he may not have taken as much damage in his first-round KO win as Arlovski did in his, most damage usually occurs in training, not in fights.
Back-to-back training camps with no rest in between is going to, at the very least, wear out a fighter. This is especially true of aging ones like Mir and Arlovski.
Perhaps that's why the heavyweight isn't too down on himself regarding the close win. "Actually, I'm happy about some parts of the fight," he said.
"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 ... 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."
The same eagerness to fight quickly and pay the bills that prompted Arlovski to take the short-notice fight with Mir still drives him now. "The Pitbull" wants to become world champion again, but doesn't seem too interested in waiting around to see what happens in what Dana White has said will be a March heavyweight title rematch between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum.
"I don't want to sit too much," he continued.
"The reason why I agreed to the [Mir] fight, first of all, I thought it was supposed to be an interesting fight for the UFC, for the 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. I never picked my opponents. So UFC asked me, 'Do you 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."
Accordingly, he's open-minded about who he could fight next. Arlovski seems to have a creeping feeling that the UFC will match him up against teammate Alistair Overeem, at some point.
If that happens, the fighter from Belarus won't mind. "To be honest with you, I'm not close friends with Alistair," he reasoned.
"I was just friends with Travis, and listen, business is business. I kind of have a bad feeling they're going to put me against Overeem. So, I'm going to fight him, of course. He's my teammate, but listen, everybody has to make money. Everybody has to make decisions. I'm talking [to] my coaches [about] how it's going to be. So, that's it."
Of course, Arlovski would absolutely love to get a rematch with the returning former world champion Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor knocked Arlovski out in the first round of their 2009 Affliction fight.
If the Russian signs with the UFC, Arlovski wants another crack at him. "Sold," he said.
"Of course. Any time, any day. ... 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. 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."