In 2010, Andrei Arlovski was a man seeking some momentum when he stepped inside the Strikeforce cage to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
He was coming off back-to-back first round knockout losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers after winning five in a row. However, Silva kept him reeling, earning a decision.
Saturday night, “The Pitbull” can gain revenge and a key win in the UFC’s heavyweight division when he takes on Silva at UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil.
Since his Strikeforce days, Arlovski (22-10) has compiled a 7-1 record with one-no contest, including a June decision over Brendan Schaub. While that first meeting with Silva remains on his mind, he doesn’t see it going the same way.
“He was heavy and very strong, and at the same time, I was smaller,” said Arlovski, in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com. “I was around 236 (pounds), so now I’m a big heavier and I spent a lot of time with my trainers. Definitely, it’s going to be a different fight now.”
Standing 6-foot-8, Arlovski still relies on his boxing, as the former Golden Gloves winner remains Jackson-Winkeljohn trained. He decided to bring in a Russian coach to help him, and was put through one of the toughest training camps of his career.
“It was a really hard camp, and when I brought this coach from Russia, he made me do a morning workout before my morning workout and made me do sprints and work on heavy bag,” he said. “I’m already tired. I just want to finish my camp and fight already.”
After taking a split decision from Schaub, Arlovski has positioned himself inside the Top-15, but will be taking on a Top-5 fighter in Silva.
“He’s No. 4 right now, so obviously it’s very important,” Arlovski said. “It’s going to be a tough fight for me, but I’m ready. I did my homework. Hopefully, it will be a different fight and I’ll do everything possible to beat him.”