Ahead of the UFC Fight Night Heavyweight championship, Andrei Arlovski tells his fans what to expect

Andrei also shares that he is reading a book about India and is keen to visit the Taj Mahal someday

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  16th October 2021 10:49 AM   |   Published :   |  16th October 2021 10:49 AM
Andrei (right) in an earlier match against Sherman

Andrei (right) in an earlier match against Sherman

The highly-anticipated match between Andrei Arlovski and Carlos Felipe takes place this weekend. This is going to be a decisive match for both fighters. If Carlos needs to progress in the heavyweight division, he has to secure a victory. Meanwhile, for 42-year-old Andrei, this is his chance too show that he is still the champion who stands his ground.

Carlos has a lot on stake in this match. He has to prove his mettle to progress. How are you going to deal with his aggressive moves because he will go all out!
I never choose any opponents. UFC gave me him after he called me out. Somebody showed me a screenshot with his middle finger. I'm very happy to fight him. He's young, angry, and hungry, and has good striking skills. He's a brawler. That means I have to stick with my game plan. If I stick with my game plan, everything is going to be perfect.

You are among one of the most seasoned fighters who has been around for long time and has proven himself already. But in this match you are pitted against this young, up and rising fighter, so what is at stake for you? 
I am still hungry for the sport and most importantly for victories. Actually, I'm a really lucky person because I'm doing what I love to do. And my wife lets me do what I do, I have two kids, a big family. I'm going to face one of the toughest young fighters, I'm very excited about this. So, like Nike said, just do it.

Is age just a number for you?
I'm 42 and a half and I still do what I love to do. I still fight and I still play my game. 

What is your fitness regimen like? How many days you work out in a week and also what diet do you follow? What is your nutrition plan?
In this camp, I follow the toughest diet. I can't drink alcohol, which is, like... wow! I let myself drink non alcoholic beer but it's disgusting. That's what I did for the last two-and-a-half to three months. We'll see if it will work on Saturday night.

How do you straddle acting and being a UFC fighter?
It was fun while I was doing it, but I need to focus on what's most important right now, and that's my MMA career, my fights. Of course, between fights if I can be in a movie or do something funny, I'll do it. But like I said, I'm focusing on my MMA career because it pays my all my bills, so I have to strictly focus on my job.

As a child you were bullied, but today you are among the top UFC fighters. You have established yourself as a name to reckon with. What is your message to younger people who perhaps are being bullied and are unsure of themselves?
When I was in school I was bullied. But I just followed my dreams, and I believed everything is possible to achieve. I understand that you have to be serious about studies in school and college. If you want to be an MMA fighter, there's only one rule: being disciplined. When I was 20, I could party all night and the next day go to the gym,  there was no problem. Now I have to choose what's more important for me. For example, a nice dinner with family or friends, or I choose to go to sleep at 10 o'clock because I have to wake up at 4:45 for my workout. Discipline, discipline, discipline - this is the key. If you are disciplined, I'm sure with time it's going to pay off.

What is your message to Carlos? 
Be ready for Saturday. I am ready, I'm coming, and it's going to be a pleasure to fight you.

And what is your message to fans in India?
For my Indian fans, I've never been in India. I'm actually reading a book right now about life in India, because I had a fight in Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. One day, definitely, I'm going to visit the real Taj Mahal. I'll see you guys!

Watch the match on October 17, 4.30 am. On Sony Ten