Andrei Arlovski has said that he wouldn’t call Alistair Overeem a team-mate and that they have “no relationship” ahead of their heavyweight clash at UFC Fight Night 87 at Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Sunday.
Arlovski and Overeem have never been friends, although they have been training under the same roof in collaboration with the same coaches in recent times.
“For me it’s just another tough opponent and it’s just another fight for me. No relationship, just hi, bye, that’s it,” Arlovski told FOX Sports on Friday.
Arguably the people most affected by the fight between Arlovski and Overeem were the trainers at Jackson-Winkeljohn, in particular Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, who effectively had to choose sides ahead of Sunday’s five-round main event.
The majority of the coaching staff ended up siding with Arlovski, and it is a burden the 37-year-old is taking incredibly seriously.
“I guess it might have been awkward for him [Overeem], but for me nothing happened. I was more worried about my coaches because when Overeem agreed to fight me, I guess he just put Greg and Wink in a bad spot,” Arlovski added.
“All the coaches to be honest with you were in my corner. They helped me and I’m very excited. I’m ready to go.”
The Belarusian had sparred with Overeem on a couple of occasion, but admitted that he doesn’t have any particular insight into his opponent’s style, but added that his coaches do.
“I didn’t but my coaches did so I’m good,” Arlovski answered when asked about his opponent’s weaknesses.