26 Jan 2009 10:15:00 AM
(Is there any situation not improved by sound effects from Super Mario Bros.? Props: MMA Scraps.)
Freddie Roach has figured out what went wrong for Andrei Arlovski on Saturday night. It’s simple really. Fighting the world’s best heavyweight proved too easy. This bored Andrei, prompting him to try the flying knee that he was not awake long enough to finish:
"He made a young man’s mistake," Roach told MMAInsider backstage. "It was too easy for him. He was winning the fight handily I thought, controlling the fight like we planned. He got a little cocky, and he tried the flying knee from too far away, no setup, and he paid for it. … But Fedor swings hard, that’s his thing. He probably had his eyes closed, but he just got lucky, I think. If we had followed a more disciplined fight, and kept to the game plan, I think it was going to be easy."
I agree with Roach on one point: Arlovski did make a mistake. As for the rest of his explanation, it’s just more evidence that Roach doesn’t understand the differences between MMA and boxing. In the boxing world, a man who wins via one-punch knockout after landing fewer punches than his opponent until that point is almost always the beneficiary of a lucky punch. Not so in MMA, especially when that man is Fedor.
You can say he got lucky. You can accuse him of closing his eyes and hoping for the best. But you can’t explain away his record. Arlovski may have helped him out with that mental error, but a right hand like Fedor’s sure improves a man’s luck considerably.