Andrei Arlovski Holds Court At “Team Doctors Training Center”! January 28th, 2005

Andrei Alovski Holds Court at “Team Doctors Training Center”!
By Juan C. Ayllon
Original Article:

Andrei Arlovski at Team Doctors Training Center

CHICAGO, IL — Andrei Arlovski is an imposing athlete. At 6’-4” and 240 pounds, with door-wide shoulders, body builders arms, and a chiseled torso tapering to a full “eight pack,” he could pass for a premiere NFL offensive end. Sporting a full beard augmented by a day’s growth, high cheekbones, a gray winter cap and a black sports hoodie with “Full Contact NHB Fighter” emblazed across his chest, he might be mistaken for a hip, 2005 version of the Marlboro Man.

Only thing is, this guy would trounce the Marlboro Man in a fistfight. You see, Andrei Arlovski is a top ranked mixed martial artist who will be fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championships 51 on February 5th against one very rough opponent, Tim Sylvia.

Arlovski started off his sports career innocuously enough: he was a soccer player in Russia when, he was “ordered” to get into a wrestling program pronto by the local police chief. Afterwards, he trained—of all things—at a gym owned by the owner of the Marlboro Cigarettes distributorship in Belarus, which specialized in training bodyguards and athletes. From there, Arlovski became involved in Sambo, a vicious Russian grappling art. After his first year of training, he won second place in the Sambo World Championships. The next year at the tender age of 18, he won the championships and won it again the following year. From there, he participated in MMA in Europe, eventually becoming a European champion. Afterwards, he proceeded to the UFC, where he has become an exciting star.

Sitting in the offices of the Team Doctors Treatment Center on the southwest side of Chicago off Pulaski Avenue, Arlovski concluded a visit with Dr. Stoxen DC. Stoxen has been working with Arlovski providing chiropractic and muscular treatments; and travels with Arlovski’s support team to all major competitions. One of Arlovski’s managers, Leo Khorolinksy, helped translate a lot of the interview, as Andrei is still learning the finer points of English.

JUAN AYLLON: For those who have not seen you fight before, describe your style, as well as your preparations and plans for this fight.

ANDRE ARLOVSKI: I work hard on both my stand-up game and on the ground. I am going through the usual routine—boxing, wrestling, jui-jitsu and just the regular light weights, lots of cardio, trying to eat healthy and keep within certain parameters with my bodyweight.

For boxing, I train with well-known Arturo Salas in Chicago and his assistant, Danny, a really good guy. For jiu-jitsu, I train with Dino Costeas, who is one of the best jiu jitsu trainers in the US. He’s at POW Gym in Chicago.

I’m planning to go in the Octagon, put on a good show and give people what they came to see!

JUAN AYLLON: What’s next, assuming all goes well versus Sylvia?

ANDRE ARLOVSKI: I will continue to train. At this point, I am promised to fight Frank Mir for a championship if we win this fight.

JUAN AYLLON: Ideally, whom would you like to fight if you could fight anybody?

ANDREI ARLOVSKI: Well, the question that you’re asking, it’s more for the amateur fighter; I am a professional fighter. I go for the money. It all depends on who’s putting on the fight, how much money and so forth.

LEO KHOROLINKSY: He would fight Klitschko, Tyson, anyone if the money’s right. After all, he’s a professional fighter. That’s what he does. He would not fight in the UFC for free. This is a job. He would train, but he would not fight unless he was paid.

JUAN AYLLON: What about a rematch with Pedro Rizzo [who stopped Arlovski in their only bout in a fight that Arlovski was doing very well in, but got caught with a big right hand]

ANDREI ARLOVSKI: Pedro is one of the best fighters in the Octagon. He’s a good challenge. If the UFC wants to set it up, I will fight him.

We’re good friends, we get along well. Just to beat him up, I’m not interested. However, if all the ingredients are right [pay, etc.] I will fight him.

DR. JAMES STOXEN: Of all the top 40 to 50 fighters we treat at “Team Doctors Treatment and Training Center,” Andrei’s the fastest heavyweight we have ever worked with! My opinion is he is the quickest heavyweight in the UFC and that is not because we are assigned to him.

I think Sylvia’s a great athlete, a nice guy and he’s got a very heavy punch. However, Andrei’s got more of a snap to his punch and a great follow through that gives the opponents head the snap that leads to more knockouts. Human beings can’t absorb that kind of “whiplash” force. The brain shuts down when it’s scrambled and sloshes around in the skull. The “whiplash” renders you unconscious. This whiplash is like a head on collision at 50 miles per hour. That is what renders the opponents unconscious.

The last time we had a strategy meeting [before Andrei fought Cabbage], everyone was talking about how Cabbage took all those shots to the head from Sylvia. They felt it was fruitless to go after Cabbage with boxing. I am not the trainer and I stay out of that part of the team meeting but I told them that I felt Andre had more snap in the punch than Silvia and they should allow Andre to use that weapon! It’s a good thing the ref pulled Andrei off [of Cabbage] because after the fight Cabbage looked relieved that the punishment was over.

[Versus Sylvia] I know that Andrei has no plans of holding back and predicts this fight to be a war. As a caring professional and a friend of Andres I don’t like to see too much violence in sports and that includes all sports and not just the UFC but I’m afraid that this fight seems to be heading that way.

Andre’s got the complete package with the jiu-jitsu, Sambo, his hands and his leg strikes. Andrei’s legs are more powerful than his hands from soccer! Sylvia’s going to be looking everywhere and he’s not going to know what’s coming.

It’s also important to note that Andre isn’t fighting the same Sylvia he would have back in April; he suffered a broken arm in the fight with Frank Mir of both the radius and ulna, which would have caused definite atrophy of that side and which had to have reduced his power as a result of a lack of training. But, he looked pretty strong when knocking out Sims with the right hand. We shall see how good his medical and rehab team was in getting him to 100% for this fight. Andrei has been training hard the entire time and has been fairly free from injuries since the last fight. JUAN AYLLON: How long do you intend on staying in the sport? Another five years?

ANDRE ARLOVSKI: I’m planning on staying in the sport for as long as it makes sense, under the right conditions.

JUAN AYLLON: Out of curiosity, what boxers do you like?

ANDRE ARLOVSKI: I like [Mike] Tyson, Johnny Tapia, and Kostya Tszyu.

LEO KHOROLINSKY: We would like to thank Dr. James Stoxen, who provides us exclusive help with Andre. He also helped our Mui-Thai fighters. We actually consider him as part of our team. He is our official team doctor; he goes with us to all the competitions and is in the frontline fighting the battle with us!

[Laughing] He also does my laundry when I am away!

ANDRE ARLOVSKI: I would like to wish blessed holidays, loots of health, luck and peace to everybody. To my fans, I would like to thank you for all your support and wish you peace, luck, and wealth in your house!

My performance will keep you happy; I will try not to disappoint you!

Joining Dr. Stoxen and this writer, Arlovski adjourned to a submarine sandwich shop next door, where the mood was festive and conversation light. During the meal, Arlovski wolfed down two foot-long subs: a grilled chicken sub and a tuna fish sandwich with tomatoes and dressing. The man has a healthy appetite, no doubt!

Clearly, Andrei Arlovski is amiable enough outside the ring, certainly not conjuring up images of an MMA fighter nor the Marlboro Man, for that matter. If only his opponents in the Octagon had it so easy!

Arlovski and Dr. Stoxen share a moment at the training center

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Photos by Juan C. Ayllon

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