How To Beat Arlovski, By Buentello

June 19, 2005

Paul Buentello and Tank Abbott at Strikeforce

Paul Buentello and Tank Abbott at Strikeforce

Is Buentello Ready For Arlovski

Transcribed by: Jeff Cain

Paul Buentello has positioned himself as a UFC heavyweight contender. Coming off a submission victory over Kevin Jordan at UFC 53, Paul’s future fighting path could very well be paved through UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Buentello spoke with MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio recently about his win over Kevin Jordan, and the possibility of fighting Andrei Arlovski.

Paul Buentello got a first round submission win over Kevin Jordan at UFC 53, but he found himself in a little bit of trouble in the fight. Paul was asked if he took Kevin seriously. He answered, “I definitely took it seriously. It’s just that we didn’t have enough time to train. You know I only had five weeks notice. Plus going out to Hawaii, just a different atmosphere and stuff like that. I said in all my interviews you’ve got to expect the unexpected, and I knew something was going to happen. He caught me. It wasn’t nothing new. You know anything can happen in this game.”

He added, “A win’s a win, but the thing is though, what made me worry about it was that the last fight I seen of him was, it was Cabbage. It was like sixteen months old, so that’s the only video that I had, and on his past fights he comes in at 245, and I said I’m not going to let this guy come in heavier than me and put weight on me. I kept my weight at 250. I mean I got down to 235 real easy, but Crazy Bob [Cook], my manager, said you’ve got to say kind of heavy. This guy’s going to come in heavy. We don’t know anything about this guy. He goes go back to the buffet, and keep eating so you can stay heavy, so that’s what I did.”

Paul further stated, “I didn’t want to be overweight on the Kevin Jordan thing because he likes to lay and pray, and put you against the fence and put a lot of weight on you, and I wanted to be able to put a lot of weight on him. Make him carry me, so I feel more comfortable at 235, 230. I feel a little faster. This last fight I felt kind of sluggish. My legs felt a little heavier. Probably because I got rocked right off the bat, but nah, I want to say at 235.”

Just how “rocked” did Kevin Jordan have Paul Buentello? Paul’s account was, “It was more like getting shocked because when I watched the video I was coming forward pretty hard…that short right. He stunned me for a split second. I go down and I was looking at the floor, and I was like what the hell am I doing down here? I came back up swinging, so it just kind of shocked me. It didn’t rock me too hard. It just made the body go woah, what was that…I was totally conscience and everything. I didn’t black out or anything.” Jokingly continuing he said, “It’s like Crazy Bob, he goes you did good that fight, but lets don’t depend on your chin to win your next fight alright?”

Many feel that UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir, won’t be able do defend his belt in October if ever. Paul was questioned if he’d take a fight with Interim HW Champ Andrei Arlovski if that were the case. Paul said, “I’d take the shot in a heartbeat. You know? I’m healthy. Everything is good, but in the end it’s all with the management. What Crazy Bob feels, and what he thinks, so I’m just a fighter. If they want me to fight him, as long as they give me eight weeks notice, I’ll be ready.”

Commenting on Arlovski’s win over Justin Eilers, a guy both have defeated, Buentello said, “Honestly what impressed me is he changed his style. He came in as a different fighter. You know when he went against Tim Sylvia he was on the outside coming in strong. When he went against Cabbage he was on the outside coming in strong. Every time he’s fought he always changes his momentum. Either he’s going to stand and bang, or against Eilers he stood there like a boxer, just picked his shots. You know didn’t get out of control. He wasn’t in danger, just felt comfortable. He just totally changed this time. I think if he comes at me with that attitude with Eilers, he stands in front of me I think it’s going to be a good fight. I think I’m going to put more hands on him than Eilers did.”

As far as what he’d have to do to beat Andrei Arlovski, Paul commented, “Honestly, put pressure. Arlovski’s real tough, but every body’s letting him get his hands off, so honestly work on leg checks really good. Put a lot of pressure on him. I honestly feel if you put pressure on him, and fire back, I think he’s going to have a hard time. Every body’s letting him get off. You know? Then again he might be even better putting pressure on him. It’s hard to say.”

Paul Buentello is a fighter. He’ll take what ever fight is put in front of him, but if he had his choice he’d get in one more fight before facing Arlovski. “Honestly what I feel comfortable on is fighting one more fight, you know, before I fight Arlovski. Arlovski, he’s tough. I mean he’s very, very tough…It would be tough to go in there, and he’s been in there what, nine times now, seven times? From my point of view it would be nice, and for the UFC it would probably be nice to fight one more fight and build it, you know, where the people are demanding for that fight instead of just having to be in there to fight him. I think it would be more interesting if people were demanding it than just to step in there and fight him.”

Paul Buentello has an amazing story of sacrifice for the sport he loves. He moved to California years ago to pursuit a dream to fight in the UFC while his family remained in Texas. He’s realized that dream, and stated, “I’m really having fun now. I mean everything is good. I’ve got my fights all on contract. I know when I’m fighting. I know when I don’t have to fight. I’ve got a little bit of money. You know Joey Oddessa has really helped out a lot.”