Gym friendships can be strange. The commonality uncovered in a single shared activity creates a sympathetic paradigm from which you view each other despite all of your bigoted, narrow-minded, and politically stupid differences. However, in that shared competitive moment you are similar to one another. Your world opens up and before you know it your best friends are ex-tweakers, cops, pro fighters, male strippers, dog lovers, and a girl with a Battlecat tattoo.
Fighting is a zero sum sport where someone must lose for the other person to win. While one person is getting drunk on Fireball at the after party, the other guy is sobbing into the stale musty odor of a gym towel. Taking something (let alone a win) from your friend, is not an easy psychological hurdle to get over. Throw empathy on top of it and it’s asking quite a bit to make fighters fight their own gym mates. This weekend at UFC 187, friends Travis Browne and Andre Arlovski will face each other in an attempt to derail their friend’s momentum towards title contention.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Travis Browne discussed his feelings about fighting his close personal friend, training partner, couch sitter, and hero, Andrei Arlovski. Specifically, he reminisced on Arlovski’s 2013 fight against Anthony Johnson where he cornered a broken jawed Arlovski.
“When he fought Anthony Johnson, in between rounds, I went over and picked his tooth up off the mat because he broke his jaw.” remembers Browne. “You know what I mean? I was literally in his corner screaming for him. When you’re that close with somebody, you’re sharing a piece of that person. That’s him as a warrior.”
In that controversial bout, Arlosvski suffered a broken jaw early in the fight. People still debate on the time keeping in that bout as the rounds appeared to run longer than the allocated five minutes. In was in this additional time at the end of the first round where the jaw breaking punch occurred. Despite the severe injury, Arlovski trudged through the brutal bout eventually suffering a decision loss to the now title contender Johnson.
“He’s a warrior through and through, man,” Browne adamantly stated. “You should have seen his jaw in that fight. It was shoved back in the back of his throat. And he fought for two rounds like that, and won the last round. It’s like, holy shit, that guy’s a warrior. I saw him in the back afterwards, and I’m like “you’re my hero right now. You’re my fucking hero.”
Since cornering Arlovski, Travis Browne has switched gyms. He’s now training at the well known Glenadale Fight Club. The Glendale Fight Club houses a stable of MMA stars such as Manny Gamburyan and women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Despite his adversarial disposition, Browne still looks up to Arlovski as a hero and a friend. The potential for them to face each other was also discussed between the two during Arlovski’s stay at Browne’s house when he first moved to New Mexico to train with Team Jackson.
“Whether you’re my friend or my enemy, I’m going out there to do my job. That’s something Andrei and I were talking about when he was living in my house,” recalls Browne. “Before he signed with the UFC, I said, ‘we may as well make some money doing what we’re doing in the gym, you know?’ He said, ‘okay, only for the title or big money.’ I said, ‘either way, it doesn’t matter to me. we’re punching each other in the face anyway.’ So let’s go out there and put on a show.”
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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