Jared Vanderaa is ecstatic to get the chance to share the Octagon with Andrei Arlovski.
Vanderaa was booked to fight Chris Barnett on the first card of 2022 but “Beast Boy” had to withdraw before it was made official. Shortly after, Arlovski agreed to step up on short notice to fight Vanderaa on January 15 but the promotion decided to move it to UFC 271 so they can fight in front of fans.
“I was actually supposed to fight on the first card of the year and they offered me Chris Barnett and he pulled out,” Vanderaa said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Then they are like do you want to fight Arlovski on Saturday? I was like yes, and my manager then told me they want to know if you’d rather fight him in Houston. I told him I generally do not care just do what you do best so now we are punching each other in Houston. ”
Against Andrei Arlovski, Jared Vanderaa knows he can not get starstruck in there given he is fighting a legend and someone he grew up watching. He also knows Arlovski has been fighting a lot smarter as of late so it will be hard to get his hands on him.
Ultimately, the plan for Vanderaa is to bring the fight to Arlovski and make it a brawl and eventually find the KO punch.
“Honestly, I could see this fight going a few different directions,” Vanderaa explained. Arlovski has been safer as of late like he is not getting into these brawls that he either gets finished or he finishes his opponent. He’s been out working and outpacing people and winning decisions, so with that, mentally I’m prepared to go all three rounds. If I can get my hands on him and cut him off and land my punches I can get the knockout or wobble him and get the TKO. That’s the realistic option for me. ”
Should Vanderaa get his hand raised, he is not sure where it puts him in the division. He knows he has work to do to enter the top-15 of the rankings but does hope he can face Tanner Boser next if they both win their fights as they have taken shots at one another.
“I feel like he is definitely a gatekeeper to the top-15 but I do not care. I respect his skill but there are plenty of other heavyweights out there I want to fight. I’m not rushing, I want to fight everybody, I like to fight. After Arlovski, me and Boser have been bantering back-and-forth so maybe we go with that. I do not care about the rankings right now, I just want to fight and have fun doing it. ”
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