While most fighters and fans were understandably upset at UFC 232’s upheaval earlier this week when an abnormal Jon Jones drug test forced the event to move from Las Vegas to Inglewood, Calif., some fighters weren’t bothered all that much by the change.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, who will headline UFC 232’s preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 against Walt Harris, remains focused and emotionally stable entering this weekend’s massive end-of-year event. Despite the controversy and bad publicity surrounding UFC 232, “Pitbull” is excited to get in the Octagon and do what he does best.
“I’m absolutely happy,” Arlovski told MMAjunkie. “I’m happy first of all that the show wasn’t canceled. Even moved to LA, it’s like, at the end of the day, all fighters are fighting to make money, so I’m happy. Thanks Dana White, thanks UFC, thank you guys for coming. We’re going to have a great show on Saturday.”
Arlovski seems to be in the minority with his outlook on UFC 232. Most fighters on the card have been complaining about the move to California, added travel costs to get there, and ultimately how they found out about the change. While Arlovski understands that the UFC 232 fiasco isn’t necessarily a good look for the promotion and the sport, he’s taking a positive approach to the entire situation.
“I understand it’s bad for fans, for MMA fans,” Arlovski said. “But I don’t understand why fighters are bitching. Like, it’s definitely better to fight and make some money than to cancel the whole show, and you don’t know when you’re going to fight. So, I’m happy.”
Arlovski, who has lost his last two Octagon appearances and may need a win more badly than any other fighter on the UFC 232 card, would have loved to fight in Vegas and keep the event the way it was. But with bills to pay and mouths to feed, the 39-year-old is willing to to whatever it takes to get back inside of the cage and earn his way.
“Of course it would be better to fight in Vegas because a lot of people bought tickets to come to Vegas to support, and not all of them can change tickets to come to LA, but listen, like I said, you have to be selfish and you have to fight and you have to make money,” Arlovski said. “I’m a responsible person. I have family, so I have to pay bills. It’s better to fight than not fight.”
UFC 232 will go down later tonight (Sat., Dec. 29, 2018) live on pay-per-view from inside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and feature a main event rematch between Jones and Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 232 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.