Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski has been forced to hear calls for him to hang up the gloves since his recent knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The defeat, which came in the first round, marked “The Pit Bull’s” fourth in as many bouts and his third finish by KO/TKO in recent fights. The 32-year-old has dropped consecutive contests to Fedor Emelianenko (1st Rd. KO), Brett Rogers (1st Rd. TKO), Antonio Silva (UD), and Kharitonov. The Belarusian’s manager, Leo Khorlinsky, spoke with FullContactFighter.com recently and answered those calls, explaining that Arlovski still has plenty in the tank and is eager to return to the cage.
“I don’t think much of these critics. I’m very skeptical of what they say because the minute you’re on top, they’re your biggest advocate, and the minute you fall down they become your critics,” said Khorlinsky. “To me these people don’t really mean much you know? You can talk about chins, you can talk about that, but I haven’t seen a single person to date who could take a punch right on the chin and not go down. Everybody goes down.”
Khorlinsky pointed to the fact that top-level trainers such as Greg Jackson still praise Arlovski for his work in the gym and are still willing to back him in fights as evidence that he still has what it takes to compete at a high level.
“He’s not ready to hang it up,” he said. “Obviously these world famous trainers like Greg Jackson see something that these critics don’t see, as otherwise why would they be wasting their time with Andrei?”
Arlovski is rumored to be competing against an unnamed opponent at the resurrected ProElite promotion’s probable August 27 fight card, to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.