Andrei Arlovski was down but not out last night in Germany after his third round submission loss to Josh Barnett in the main event of UFC Fight Night 93.
“He was better man tonight,” Arlovski said at the post-fight press conference. “Now I’m going to take some time off and come back stronger. At least he didn’t knock me out. He choked me and he has great wrestling skills.
“He was better man tonight. Thank you very much for the fight. Good luck to him in the future. I’m still top 10. So, it’s totally up to my managers what’s next for me and totally up to the UFC.”
Arlovski enjoyed an initial resurgence when he rejoined the UFC in 2014, racking up four wins in a row.
However, 2016 has been a bad year for the 37 year-old, suffering three losses in a row to Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem and now Barnett.
As Arlovski said, he wasn’t knocked out on this occasion, but after suffering TKO’s in his previous two fights, the fact that he did have his legs buckled twice by Barnett in the early stages of the fight is still a cause for concern.
Arlovski has been here before though – with there being loud calls for him to retire after a dismal spell in his early 30’s when he suffered four defeats in a row during spells in the Affliction and Strikeforce promotions.
Ignoring his critics he managed to turn things around eventually, and while time is no longer on his side, it’s clear that Arlovski is the type of guy who will continue to fight for as long as he can put one foot in front of the other.
For his long-time health, that’s probably not a good thing and it will be interesting to see how much longer the UFC will keep him around if his downward slump continues, knowing that if he’s released he’ll probably just end up in rival promotion Bellator instead.