Going into the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament, Andrei Arlovski was probably the second most popular fighter behind only Fedor Emelianenko. The odds were stacked against him, but perhaps he could find a way to make a run, and possibly even win the tournament.
Instead, he found himself on the wrong end of a knockout at the hands of Sergei Kharitonov. Arlovski did look to be in good physical condition going in, but he just wasn’t able to keep up as the fight went on.
It’s another sign that the former UFC Heavyweight champion should hand up his boots, and call it a career. He’s had a very successful run, but his time has clearly passed.
Last night was just the tip of the iceberg in the end of the career of Andrei Arlovski.
Here are five reasons why he should call it a career.
It’s a pretty telling sign that a fighter should stop fighting when they lose a bunch of fights in a row. As of today, Arlovski has lost four consecutive fights. Granted, they were all against really good fighters (Fedor, Brett Rogers, Antonio Silva and Kharitonov), but that’s no excuse.
In those four fights, Arlovski has only made it out of the first round one time, that was against Silva last May.
To his credit, he hasn’t tried to take an easy fight just to get a victory, but he isn’t doing himself any favors in the fights that he is taking.
Arlovski is only 32, not old by normal standards. However, he has been fighting professionally since he was 20 years old. That’s 12 years of wear-and-tear on the body. He has fought some of the best fighters in the world, and has been involved in some brutal beatings.
The body can only take so much before it starts to break down. So even though Arlovski isn’t old in the eyes of society, in the MMA world he is pushing the limit.
You can see that he isn’t as physically gifted as the fighters that are competing today. A part of that stems from all the fights that he has been involved in throughout his career.
Dave Meltzer made a great point last night when he said that Arlovski is similar to Chuck Liddell, when Liddell was at the tail end of his career. He wrote that both guys are in great physical condition and they have the skills to be competitive, but they can’t take a punch.
Arlovski has lost three of his last four fights via KO due to punches. He can’t go into the cage with a guy who is a strong puncher. If he does, the results will be the same as they have been lately.
He was put into this tournament because of his name, but matched up with the wrong guy, and it ended up being a very quick fight.
Arlovski doesn’t have the most extensive resume, nor is he one of the greatest fighters in history, like the guy who lost in the main event of this show, but he does have a legacy to uphold. Watching his performances in the last two years is starting to hinder that legacy in a big way.
He is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and won the M-1 MFC European Heavyweight Championship in 2000. He has defeated some of the top fighters in the world throughout his career, including Fabricio Werdum, arguably the best heavyweight in Strikeforce, back in 2007.
It’s nice that he still tries to go out there and fight, but his place in history is taking a dive because of it.
The hardest thing to tell an athlete is that there is someone out there that is better than they are. They will do everything in their power to try and prove you wrong.
In the case of Andrei Arlovski, he is finding out the hard way that a lot of other heavyweight fighters are simply better than he is.
He hasn’t won a fight since October 2008. He hasn’t beaten a top-tier fighter since Fabricio Werdum in 2007. His peak has clearly passed, and other fighters in the weight class are far superior to him.
That’s not to say that he can’t beat anybody, but he can’t beat the guys that he wants to beat. If you can’t beat the best in the world, why keep going?
He has earned a lot of fans over the years because of his powerful boxing, which led to 11 knockout victories among his 15 wins, but he no longer possesses the skills necessary to compete with the top fighters, and a lot of other fighters have moved past him in terms of skills and ability.
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