Not many people are willing to put their friendships aside -- even for one night -- to tango inside the Octagon. But Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne proved that you can take care of business without making it personal.
In what was one of the best one-round fights you'll ever see, Arlovski stopped Browne via technical knockout (TKO) last weekend (Sat., May 23, 2015) at UFC 187 in Las Vegas, Nevada (video highlights here).
The elation of victory was short-lived for "The Pitbull," who quickly focused his attention on his fallen "brother," whom he tried to console shortly after their heavyweight tilt. During a recent video chat (via MMA Fighting), a very emotional Arlovski talked about the difficulty of punching "Hapa," something he compared to punching his mother or father.
"Of course it's nice to have a victory, but deep inside, bad feelings," declared Arlovski. "I feel like it's exactly what I said, I feel like I punched my mother or father, my brother. Victory is victory, of course. I'm happy I made some money. I hurt myself a little bit, physically, I hurt myself. Hopefully it's the first and last time I fight my friend."
Arlovksi, wiping away his tears, commended Browne for handling the loss like a true gentleman.
"I told him, 'Listen, brother Travis. I'm sorry to whoop your ass.' He's a real gentleman guy. I'm talking right now and have tears in my eyes, not a good feeling," said the heavyweight striker.
The win gave Andrei his third straight since returning to the Octagon, and his fifth in a row overall. It also put him on the fast track to a shot at the title and earned him a nice $84,000 payday with the win bonus.
Still, those benefits are nothing compared to a true friendship at this stage in his life, says Arlovski.
"Listen, I'm not a 20, 25 year-old guy who doesn't give a fuck about friendship, who just thinks about money. With experience, you have different priorities in your life. Friendship for me, right now, is more important than being on top," he concluded.
On the bright side, though Browne and Arlvoski are no longer training at the same camp, they are still friends after their memorable back-and-forth brawl.