The former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski is slated to take on Fedor Emelianenko on January 24, 2009 at the Affliction 2: "Day of Reckoning" event. Arlovski understands the fact that he will be tested against the man considered the #1 heavyweight in the world when it comes to mixed martial arts. However, he feels confident coming into this fight especially with Freddie Roach as his boxing coach.
Arlovski started out his martial arts career with Sambo at a very young age. He then decided to explore other combat sports, including kickboxing to complement his Sambo-based grappling skills. It was there where he entered the journey of mixed martial arts. He made his first appearance by fighting for Mix-Fight M-1, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Although he lost his first match via KO to Viacheslav Datsik, he came back and won the following four bouts. He then fought most of his career with the UFC and now currently fights for Affliction.
Arlovski’s current boxing coach, Freddie Roach, sees a lot of potential for the Belarus-native fighter when it comes to pro boxing. Roach also trains Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao (current WBC lightweight champion), who defeated Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya on December 6, 2008.
Arlovski has talked about boxing in previous interviews and now he is finally considering participating in the sport whether he wins or loses to Fedor on January 24th. Roach even stated that a great match-up for Arlovski would be current WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev. Sources close to fighthype indicate an upcoming announcement from Arlovski in regards to a boxing debut with Golden Boy Promotions.
Here’s the snip from his boxing coach Freddie Roach:
"If Andrei (Arlovski) wins against Fedor on the 24th, I would put him right into a title fight with Nikolai Valuev right away. It would be Belarus vs. Russia and that’s huge marketing for PPV and Andrei has a huge crowd in that area. He will cross over into boxing though; that is a definite! His next fight after Fedor will be a boxing match."