Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rogers Wants Respect Against Arlovski

Originally posted on

Brett Rogers has taken the short, sure way to gain respect in the MMA world: take on opponent widely perceived to be on a higher level.

Andrei Arlovski, his charge on June 6, is a bona fide Top 10 heavyweight. The former UFC heavyweight champion fell short in his chance to knock off the number one guy, Fedor Emelianenko, but he’s still a talented and dangerous fighter.

Never mind that, Rogers says.

“Now, it’s about building respect,” he told reporters Wednesday on a Strikeforce teleconference promoting his June 6 fight with “The Pitbull.” “I’m just at that point where I have a great gym now, we have top coaches, and I’m doing everything I need to do to take on top fighters.”

Rogers was originally scheduled to take on Alistair Overeem on the main card of the St. Louis fight, but Overeem injured his hand in a barroom brawl in Holland and was forced to withdraw. Arlovski stepped in, still under a non-exclusive contract with Affliction, and suddenly, Rogers had the biggest challenge of his career.

The undefeated heavyweight bristles at Overeem’s recent fortune, but thinks everything worked out for the best.

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