Andrei Arlovski on UFC 174 win: I 'feel really horrible'
VANCOUVER – A win’s a win for Andrei Arlovski, but the former heavyweight champion said he’s happy UFC President Dana White wasn’t at Saturday’s post-UFC 174 press conference.
Following to a questionable split-decision win over Brendan Schaub (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) on UFC 174′s pay-per-view main card, Arlovski (22-10 MMA, 11-4 UFC) admitted the fight – often showered in boos from a far-from-entertained Rogers Arena crowd in Vancouver – wasn’t his most impressive performance.
„Honestly, I felt and I still feel really horrible,” he told MMAjunkie after the event (watch the post-UFC 174 press conference). „I’m glad Dana White isn’t here because he’s probably so pissed at me.
„He gave me a great opportunity, and I didn’t like my performance, my fight, tonight.”
Arlovski ultimately got the win via 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 scores, but the action often stalled, and aside from Schaub’s grotesque facial swelling, neither fighter came all that close to finishing the bout.
Although White didn’t attend the press conference (UFC-Canada head Tom Wright handled the emcee duties), the UFC boss did offer a blunt assessment while on FOX Sports 1′s post-UFC 174 show.
„I think everyone would agree that fight sucked,” he said. „It was horrible. Do you know who lost in that fight? The fans. The fans lost in that fight.”
Arlovski won his first UFC title way back in 2005, and during some lean years for the big men in the sport, the 35-year0old Belarusian was arguably the division’s biggest star. However, after leaving the organization in 2008, he experienced some high-profile setbacks with Affliction and Strikeforce before ultimately putting together a 6-1 run that got him a surprising call back to the promotion for UFC 174.
However, despite fighting in five UFC title fights and 14 bouts overall in his first UFC stint, Arlovski admitted the jitters got the best of him.
„For some reason, I was nervous a lot,” he said. „Before the fight when I stepped in the octagon, my legs and hands shook for some reason. I was just nervous. It was like the first time I fought 14 years ago.”
And it showed. Both fighters were often slow or hesitant to engage during the fight (watch the Arlovski vs. Schaub video highlights). However, both felt confident they deserved the win. Schaub said as much to his corner immediately after the fight and had already started a celebration of sorts. But while Arlovski may have looked dejected before Bruce Buffer read the scorecards, he wasn’t necessarily disappointed because he thought he lost; he simply hated the way it played out.
„That’s why I was kind of mad,” he said of his post-fight demeanor. „My plan was to knock him out, and it was left up to the judges. But like I said, I wasn’t happy with my performance tonight.
„Next time, I promise I’ll do much better.”