Andrei Arlovski Plans to Fight Until 48 After UFC 303

Andrei Arlovski has retired from the UFC after his 42nd fight in the promotion but plans to continue his MMA career, aiming to break more records and possibly return to the UFC in the future.

Andrei Arlovski isn’t done just yet.

At UFC 303, Arlovski fought for the final time in the UFC, losing a split decision to Martin Buday. The bout was Arlovski’s 42nd in the promotion, second all-time to Jim Miller. It only added to the various heavyweight records Arlovski holds, including fights, fight time, and significant strikes. Heading into the bout, the former heavyweight champion says he knew it would be his final walk for the promotion.

“I knew it would be my last fight,” Arlovski said on The MMA Hour. “UFC proposed to do something but I didn’t want it because my chapter in the UFC is closed. But definitely not in my MMA career. That’s why I decided to do nothing. And yeah, it was last fight [in the UFC].

“That’s why I didn’t want to do any goodbye videos or whatever. But I do appreciate the UFC family—Dana [White], Hunter [Campbell]. [But] I’m not done fighting. I’m done with the UFC but I’m not done fighting.”

Arlovski was the last active UFC fighter who competed for the promotion before Zuffa LLC purchased it in 2001. Making his promotional debut at UFC 28 back in 2000, Arlovski spent most of the next 24 years under the UFC banner. Save for a four-year stretch competing for a variety of promotions.

That’s a long time to spend with one company. Even someone as stoic as “The Pitbull” wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep his emotions in check at UFC 303.

“Be honest with you, I thought I was going to be like a crying baby,” Arlovski said. “I’m going to cry like a little bitch.”

But as of today? “I sit down and this is not the end of life.” Obviously he spent most of his time training and fighting in the UFC.

“I didn’t sign a new contract with them,” he noted. “My chapter there is done, but life is not over.”

“So like I said,” he continued, “I’m very excited.” Actually very happy with how he held [his feelings] when leaving octagon on way back to doctor check-up from fight.

“Of course,” he admitted, “I got a little bit emotional.” Funny thing though—right after fight? Back at hotel?

First Round Management gave him a nice present—a ring with diamonds and pitbull logo! Abe Kawa gave speech; tears welled up in his eyes.

What comes next for Arlovski? Still up in air—but insists he’ll keep fighting few more years.

“I want to beat couple more records,” Arlovski said. “One: Bernard Hopkins fought at 48 and won that fight.”

Uncle Dana helped him buy new house—but bills need paying! Newborn baby too—so gotta keep going few more years.

Hopkins actually continued fighting into his 50s—even defending IBF light heavyweight title until age 49!

So at 45? Arlovski still has several years left catch up “The Executioner.”

Given that possibility—Arlovski may return to UFC one day; door’s open!

“My first UFC was UFC 28,” he reminisced. “If get another contract—I’d love last fight be at UFC 328…300 events later!”

If that doesn’t happen though? He’s content with how career played out; proud of accomplishments.

“I can call myself really fighter,” Arlovski said proudly. “Fighting 24 years U.S., almost 20 years best organization…20 years best league!”

Seeing evolution from beginning till now? “Wow.”

Arlovski ends his UFC career with record of 23-18 and one no-contest.


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