MMA fighter explains why he left Roach's camp
MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach is best known for his work with boxers, including Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, but he has also worked with several mixed martial artists.
While some MMA fighters – including UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre – have given credit to Roach, at least one fighter believes he took a step back after training at the Wild Card Gym.
Andrei Arlovski, a former UFC heavyweight champion, trained with Roach at the Wild Card for his fight against Fedor Emelianenko in 2009, but the Belarussian fighter said the move backfired.
“I paid too much attention to boxing,” Arlovski explained in an interview with MMA Junkie. “I wanted to try professional boxing. That’s why I didn’t focus on wrestling and jiu-jitsu, and it hurt me.”
Arlovski was knocked out by Emelianenko in the first round of their fight, in what would be the first of four consecutive losses.
But he did not completely discount his experience at Wild Card, saying: “Definitely, I learned from Freddie, and he taught me some cool stuff.”
“But at the same time, I was hurting my momentum in my MMA technique, and I had some problems with my other coaches,” he added. “It was a good experience, but I’m not going to come back again to a boxing gym.”
Arlovski, who last fought in the UFC in March 2008, is now training at Greg Jackson’s gym. He will face another former UFC fighter, Anthony Johnson, at the World Series of Fighting on March 23.