It wasn't a strong homecoming for former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski or his UFC 174 opponent Brendan Schaub on Saturday night. While Arlovski was able to earn the split decision victory, few in the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada would say either fighter looked particularly impressive. That goes for Arlovski, too.
"Honestly, I felt - I still feel really horrible," he said at the post-fight press conference. "It's good [UFC President] Dana White's not here because he'd be so pissed at me. He gave me great opportunity. I didn't like my fight tonight."
Arlovski fought Schaub on the main card of UFC 174, but without much action. Striking output was low and until the third round, neither fighter was able to establish the takedown. While Schaub landed more strikes total, the judges awarded Arlovski the victory, giving him 29-28 on two of the three scorecards.
"For some reason, I was nervous a lot," Arlovski explained. "When I stepped inside the Octagon, my hands, my legs shook for some reason. I was just nervous more than the first time when I fought 14 years ago almost. Next time I promise I'm going to do much better."
"That's why I was kind of mad because my plan was knock him out and I didn't want to leave it up to the judges. I wasn't happy about my performance in this fight."
Coincidentally, neither was White, who heavily criticized both Arlovski and Schaub in a post-fight interview on Fox Sports 1.
"I think everyone would agree that fight sucked," White said candidly. "That fight was horrible. Do you know who lost in that fight? The fans. The fans lost in that fight."
"For anybody to think [Schaub] got robbed," White continued, "the first two rounds could have gone either way. First two rounds could have gone either way, and the third round, Schaub won the third round."
For White, however, the issue wasn't whether the fight was scored controversially. It was where the fight was placed on the card in the first place.
"I made a big mistake putting that on the main card that should be on the prelims. For Schaub to walk around to think he got robbed is hysterical.
"First of all, Arlovski looked slow. Arlovski looked soft," White said angrily. "Arlovski looked like he couldn't get off tonight. And neither one of them threw any punches in the first two rounds and Schaub still looked like he got hit with a baseball bat. For him to think he was robbed tonight is absolute comedy."
Schaub's reaction when the scorecards were read was one of surprise and disbelief. As for as White is concerned, there was a robbery, but it wasn't Schaub who suffered.
"We got robbed tonight," White said.