The two heavyweights clashed in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 40 this past Saturday and after a three-round striking battle, Arlovski emerged victorious. It was a competitive fight with a result that easily could have swung in the other direction if a few key moments had gone differently. As Arlovski remembers it, he had to keep his composure in the latter stages of the contest when Felipe started letting the trash talk fly.
“He was super cocky,” Arlovski said on The MMA Hour on Wednesday. “I almost snapped in the second round when he starts going, ‘Oh, what’s up, b*tch, let’s fight.’ Like, blah blah blah. And I guess [coaches] Mike Brown or Paulino Hernandez heard this and in the rest between the second and third round, they told me, ‘Please, be calm. Don’t do anything. Just stick to this game plan,” and I’m so glad I listened to them. I stick with my game plan and I got the victory.”
It wasn’t easy for Arlovski to stay relaxed, even with over 50 pro bouts under his belt. His first instinct was not to fire back verbally, but to find a way to make Felipe pay for his words.
However, keeping his goals in perspective helped the former UFC heavyweight champion stay on the winning track.
“I almost snapped, I remember I was tired and I get even more tired because I’m thinking, ‘What the f*ck? What I can do? What I can do to him? How can I answer because they’re not nice words,’ so I decided a W is more important than ‘What if?’” Arlovski said. “The heavyweight division, one punch and the fight’s over. I know for a fact from my own experience.”
Arlovski, 42, has now won two straight fights and four of his past five, a stunning turnaround from a recent 13-fight stretch in which he only managed three victories. He joked that he’s ready to fight for the world title now, but otherwise did not have a name in mind for his next opponent.
As far as his clean-shaven look goes, Arlovski said it was part of the process of getting over the emotions from his heated battle with Felipe.
“F*ck no,” Arlovski said when asked if he said anything to Felipe afterwards. “They asked me—You know what I thought when I came back after medical checks, after interviews I come back to the hotel, I took a shower, I washed my beard with a special new shampoo, and I still feel something like it’s in my beard. That’s why I decided to shave. I come back home and I just did a clean shave and now I feel much better.”