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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Andrei Arlovski has had a rough stretch over the last couple of years. After a five fight winning streak into his bout with Fedor Emelianenko in January in 2009, he's lost four fights in a row, three of which have come by knockout or TKO. But despite what has been a labeled a "glass chin" with his recent losses, Arlovski's new coach Greg Jackson doesn't buy into that talk.
"I think he’s going to come back a better fighter,” Jackson said in an interview with Sherdog.com. “You have to remember I’m a diehard optimist. It’s really hard to discourage me or tell me it shouldn’t be done or it can’t be done. I’m a guy that I think I know what to do to fix it. I’m going to try everything I can to do that."
"He kind of hesitated standing in front of [Kharitonov] and was grabbing around the neck and doing stuff that we hadn’t planned. For me, that’s part of the learning process. It didn’t go our way because we made some fundamental mistakes that we weren’t supposed to make. Of course you don’t want to stand in front of Kharitonov no matter who you are. He’s got bombs in either of those hands of his. We were doing very, very well following the game plan and we kind of had a lapse."
For Jackson, he believes it's all about the fundamentals, and he believes Arlovski has been making a similar mistake in each of his recent losses.
"I'm really identifying the mistake. It went a little deeper than I thought it did,” Jackson said. "Identifying that mistake and changing what we do there is going to be a big, important factor. I don't think he has a weak chin. I think he's fighting in a heavyweight division where these guys would knock down a house if they hit it."
Penick's Analysis: While Jackson's take on the situation may be accurate, it doesn't change the fact that he's taken some ridiculously brutal losses over his career. The knockout he took against Kharitonov was scary, and the more beatings he takes the more likely he is to have problems later in life. I personally don't want to see him take any more punishment, the same way I didn't want to see Chuck Liddell take more punishment after his numerous knockout losses. It's sounding like he'll continue on fighting, and that is just a little disappointing.
[Andrei Arlovski art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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