"When I Was A Kid, Bullies Always Took My Pocket Money." Arlovski Talks About His Childhood, His Next Fight And Drunk Driving

Marina Magomedova
11 Jan 2024
1 comment

Former UFC heavyweight champion, Belarusian fighter Andrei Arlovski will fight Dominican Waldo-Cortes Acosta on the night of January 14 at the UFC tournament in Las Vegas.

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Andrei Arlovski
Andrei Arlovski

In an exclusive interview with Telecomasia.net, the legendary fighter talked about:

  • his upcoming fight with Waldo Cortes-Acosta;
  • the benefits of long-term fasting;
  • why Makhachev should take a risk and go for a welterweight belt;
  • how bullies took his pocket change when he was a kid;
  • Chicago crime and his friendship with police officers;
  • what can help Alexander Emelianenko overcome his alcohol addiction;
  • how he dreams of becoming the oldest fighter in the UFC's history.

— You will be competing in your first UFC event of the year. What is your mood as you start the year?

— I'm in a great mood, I feel good, I'm ready for the fight. The camp was excellent, disciplined, so I'm fine.

— How well have you studied your opponent Waldo Cortes-Acosta?

— We watched his fights with the coaches. He's a former baseball player, a boxer, very dangerous and heavy. He is a little bit taller than me and his arm span is wider, so I have to be careful.

— Aleksei Oleinik used to say during his last years in the UFC that he took a calm attitude towards his opponents, like a hunter who has already gotten a lot of prey and it's not so important for him whether he catches the next beast. What do you think of this approach?

— I don't think it's right. I'm still hungry, especially for victories and everything that goes with them.

Andrei Arlovski
Andrei Arlovski

— You recently spent 90 hours without food. How did it feel?

— It was hard. My first fasting in my life was a bit difficult and I didn't reach Dana White's figures, but the second time I surpassed him without any problems.

— What does it do for you?

— Self-discipline, all the junk leaves the body, because you constantly drink water, but I also drank coffee. When I starved for the second time, it was hard to train, because it takes a lot of energy.

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— When did you last visit your homeland Belarus?

— A long time ago. I was at my grandfather's funeral in 2021.

— Islam Makhachev announced that his next fight will be with Justin Gaethje in June. Can he become a serious opponent for Islam and fight for his belt?

— I think Makhachev will reign on his throne for a while. Gaethje is a good fighter, but he definitely doesn't reach Makhachev's fight, Islam will be fine.

Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev

— Should Makhachev take a chance and try to fight Leon Edwards for the welterweight belt?

— Why not? He'll definitely surpass Edwards in wrestling, although he did pretty well in his last fight against that blowhard who filed charges against Jorge Masvidal. Colby Covington didn't do anything at all in the fight, and Islam has both good strikes and flawless wrestling. He can go crazy and give it a shot.

— Did you call Covington a blowhard because his words don't match his actions?

— Absolutely, that's why it's better to keep your mouth shut, and if you want to prove something or punish someone, just do it in the octagon. Although he could be making all this noise just for show.

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— How did you spend your teenage years?

— In school, they used to take my money all the time. Then I had enough, and at 14 I made friends with the other cool kids in the neighborhood, and they were like, «Look, we're here for you if you need us.» I fought everybody and never ever let them give me dirty looks or anything, but before I was 14, the bullies used to take my pocket money all the time.

— Chicago is considered a criminal city in America. Have you encountered any street gang violence there?

— It's a really unsafe city. When my dog Max was still alive and I was walking him, some black guy tried to take him off the leash. I took a stick and gave him a whooping. Then I got some cop friends and I could drive a car when I was drunk. One call used to get me an escort home and keep me out of trouble. Now I don't do it anymore, because I am 20 years older, I have a family and children, but I used to do it.

Andrei Arlovski and his pitbull
Andrei Arlovski and his pitbull

— Your pet pitbull was your dear friend. Did you get another dog after him?

— No. The kids want one, but I don't. I know that all the care and all the burden will fall on my shoulders, and I don't need all this trouble again.

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— Alexander Emelianenko has reportedly converted to Islam. Do you believe it?

— I guess. To be honest, I thought that he converted to Islam a long time ago, when he went to Chechnya to train. If it helped him and he stops drinking, it's good for him and his family, but if it's another extremity, it's unhealthy.

— Can someone his age start a new life and stop drinking for good?

— Why not, if he's motivated by the right people and they help you get out of this slump. It all depends on self-discipline. I thought that when he was training in Chechnya and constantly going there, they had a strict regimen for him and he was done with it. Turns out I was wrong.

Alexander Emelianenko
Alexander Emelianenko

— For some time he managed to keep in shape and show good results.

— I certainly will not judge him, it's his private matter.

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— You are not going to end your career in the near future. Will you continue it outside the UFC if you can't renew your contract for some reason?

— If I don't get to extend my contract and there is a decent offer, then why not. I want to break the record of Bernard Hopkins, who had his last boxing fight at the age of 48. Next month I will be 45, so I have about three more years.

— In that case, you'll break the record for age among the UFC fighters.

— I've already broken it. I'm the oldest fighter in the UFC right now.

— You can break the all-time record too.

— If I remember correctly, only Randy Couture and Dan Henderson fought at the age of 46

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Comments (1)
Douglas DogiDo
I also had to deal with bullying at school, but I left in time to take up boxing
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