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Friday, February 18, 2011

Andrei Arlovski Confirms He Won't Retire, But Where Does He Go From Here?

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Andrei Arlovski Confirms He Won't Retire, But Where Does He Go From Here? 


I’ve talked about Andrei Arlovski a lot lately. Most of the time I’ve been brutally honest: I’m not all that optimistic about Arlovski’s future. I’ve even suggested that it may be time for him to call it a career and retire. Everything has been rumor and speculation since Arlovski suffered another brutal KO loss at the recent strikeforce: “Fedor vs. Silva” event, but that’s now changed. We now have definitive word from the man himself: Andrei Arlovski is not retiring.
We head to MMA Junkie for word on why Arlovski is choosing not to hang up the gloves. The folks at Junkie compiled an interesting list of quotes from the YouTube video of a recorded live chat that Arlovski recently had with his fans: “…I’m not going to finish my career like this. Definitely, I’m going to keep fighting… Definitely, I’m going to change some things. Absolutely not I’m going to [expletive] retire. I know it’s impossible to come back on the top, and I know it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be very difficult for me. But I’m definitely going to do it.”
As an Andrei Arlovski fan, I’m glad that he finally addresses this issue regardless of how pessimistic I am towards his future. I think knowing is always better than not knowing, and now that Arlovski has confirmed that he won’t be retiring, I can now focus on one simple question.
Where does Andrei Arlovski go from here?
Arlovski remains an incredibly popular fighter, I’ve said that several times when talking about him and I think it’s true now more than ever. People still want to see Arlovski fight, they’re still rooting for him and cheering his name. Despite all his recent trials and tribulations, Arlovski is arguably one of Strikeforce’s major stars at Heavyweight.

Fedor Loses And Defeated By Fabricio Werdum

But when and where does it end, and when does Arlovski start becoming a liability to Strikeforce’s credibility?
Should Strikeforce continue to keep Arlovski around if he keeps losing? I think a comparison to Keith Jardine should be made here. “The Dean of Mean” was also a pretty popular star that was kept around despite an up-and-down record, but it got to a point where it was painfully obvious that he wasn’t able to compete at a UFC level anymore, losing four straight fights in a row. Arlovski’s already on a four-fight losing streak, although one of those fights occurred outside of Strikeforce. Will Arlovski’s next fight be in Strikeforce? And if it is and he loses, what then?
Now that I think about it, that “one simple question” is actually so multi-faceted that part of me wishes that Arlovski had gone ahead and simply retired. I’m trying to be optimistic here, truly I am, but when I think of Arlovski, a section of my mind always thinks of the following names: Keith Jardine, Tim Sylvia, Jens Pulver… you get the idea. And I hate to say this, but that section of my mind is growing larger.
However, I’d also hate to end this piece on such a negative note. So I’ll say this: a part of me will always hold out hope for Andrei Arlovski. A part of me will be with him until the end, cheering him on and hoping that he goes on the kind of comeback he went on when he became a serious challenger to the then-unbeaten Fedor Emelianenko. My heart and my head are in firm disagreement on Andrei Arlovski, but in the end, I’m going to remain an Andrei Arlovski fan no matter what happens.
And what about you, fans and friends? Now that Arlovski has confirmed that he’ll keep fighting, what are your thoughts?


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