“Hulk Speak” – Palelei vs Arlovski
By now you would have heard that Soa “The Hulk” Palelei is once again competing in MMA outside of Australia. This time around he is making the trek to the Philippines to fight on One FC’s fifth card “Pride of a Nation” against former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
Taking the fight was the easy part; the hard part now is when the realization hits that this is a sure-fire way into the UFC. In true “Hulk” fashion Sao laughed off any potential nerves leading into this fight “When they called me and asked me to fight I was like, yeah. Why not. This is a big name, this is a guy who is considered one of the best heavyweights in the world,” he explained.
On his high profiled opponent Soa was confident as usual “I am just treating this like any other fight” he says “despite what people say about him, he is still dangerous, he’s a smart guy and a legend in our sport. He knows how to handle himself in there and he won a belt with the UFC. You don’t do that by just standing at a bus stop.” Although Arlovski went on a four fight losing streak under the Strikeforce banner Soa is still cautious with his approach to the fight. “You can’t go in there and underestimate him, he’s a professional and even though he has lost a few fights, he’s also won a fair few. He has to go in there and win so that’s going to make him even more dangerous.”
That kind of outlook is one that is also shared by Soa, he knows all too well that this fight is “make or break” for the Heavyweight. “Just like Arlovski I know that I need to win this one. I know that I can’t just hang out and eat KFC before the fight.. maybe after the fight I can but I need to take this preparation seriously. He won’t be lying down and neither will I. This is a fight that the people are going to want to see.” Soa exclaimed. A fight of desperation is always one that is full of surprises and although a win may not see Arlovski back in the UFC it would however allow him to silence many critics who say that he should be calling it a day.
Although this fight is in a foreign country, the preparation is still familiar territory to the twenty fight veteran. “We will be taking this camp exactly like all the other fights. We will head over there around a week before the fight just to get used to the climate and to make sure that I am on weight and then I will get in there and once again show the world what the “Hulk Smash” is all about.” Soa explained. “I will win this fight any way that I can. I am ready to go all three rounds but I don’t think either of us expect the fight to last that long. I am looking for another knockout just like I am sure he is.”
Recently Dana White commented on Soa’s “Gladiators” and their support over Twitter to see “The Hulk” back inside the famed Octagon, on Dana’s comments Soa could only laugh “It’s great to know you have that support. I know Dana said he was getting sick of it but I say keep it going guys, let the world know all about the Hulk Gladiators.” The world has started to get to know the name that’s for sure, with a heavy Twitter campaign launching right after the announcement of Soa’s next fight. “It’s good to embrace the social media. Without it Dana may not have even remembered who I was. I would rather people talk about me then not talk about me. It’s all about exposure.” Soa stated.
Getting such a big opportunity certainly wouldn’t be possible in Soa’s eyes if it wasn’t for “Team Hulk” – his sponsors such as Mack Boots, Rapid Loss, Everything MMA, Southern Crossfit, BeSpoke by Nicholas his Chiropractor – Jon Tan, his manager Peter Nicolas and Nidia and her marketing team make up a big part of Soa’s life and he is grateful for the support that he gets.
It’s the fight of Soa’s career (or at least his 2012) and it takes place on August 31st. A win against a formidable opponent like Andrei Arlovski could see “The Hulk” get his place back inside the Octagon and then finally the time for redemption will come.