Andrei Arlovski has forged a reputation for being an aggressive and pressuring heavyweight, but the man who will battle him tonight, is expecting a more conservative “Pit Bull”.
That fighter is Junior Albini, who has been booked for a scrap with the former heavyweight champ, after taking out Timothy Johnson in his UFC debut. That win moved the 26 year-old’s overall record to 14-2, and demonstrated why many hardcore fans and observers have been following Albini’s career.
Well, recently Albini spoke to MMA Fighting about his bout tonight with Arlovski, and the Brazilian fighter said this:
“He’s not in a good moment in his career,” Albini said. “He’s coming off five losses, so he’s not that confident anymore to stand and trade. His game depends on confidence, and he’s not that confident to take risks. I expect him to fight safer, to punch and try to grapple.
“Everyone is saying that this could be his last fight depending on how he performs, so all the pressure is on him. I’m focused and ready for him. I believe I’m better prepared and with a good head, and I’m happy with this big opportunity in my career.”
There’s certainly a chance that Albini’s on point here. After all, Arlovski has lost five in a row, and he’s been finished with strikes in three of them. So, not only does the 38 year-old Arlovski need a win to keep a UFC spot, but he needs a victory to shut down any retirement talk.
If Arlovski does score a victory, however, it will be interesting to see what comes next for him. Although he’s considerably closer to 40 now, Arlvoski has gone through losing streaks in the past, and rebounded. It wasn’t that long ago really when “The Pit Bull” was riding a six fight winning streak, and was in title shot contention.
Albini also relayed that he “never imagined fighting someone like” Arlovski, and that he’s always “looked up” to the accomplished fighter.
UFC Fight Night 120 will take place Norfolk, Virginia.