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Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima fight at UFC Vegas 63: Brothers on opposite sides

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The clash between Andrei Arlovski and Marcos Rogerio de Lima at Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 63 card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas will divide the Oliveira family.

Sons of boxing legend Servilio de Oliveira, the first boxer to win an Olympic medal in boxing for Brazil in 1968, Gabriel Ivan de Oliveira work as boxing coaches at American Top Team in Florida for years now, and have trained both Arlovski and de Lima for this match between ATT heavyweights.

Ivan has trained Arlovski since his win over Carlos Felipe in 2021, working on his camp for victories over Jared Vanderaa and Jake Collier earlier this year. He even coached de Lima for his most recent UFC fight with Blagoy Ivanov, but his brother Gabriel is the full-time boxing coach for “Pezao” for many years.

“This is the first time I’m going against my brother in the UFC,” Gabriel said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “We come from the boxing world and that’s pretty common there, putting many boxers in the same division and eventually having them fight each other in the final. It has happened many times in the past.”

“We see close-outs in jiu-jitsu and that’s unthinkable in boxing,” said Ivan, referring to grapplers refusing to face teammates in major finals and simply deciding who will win the gold medal. “Championship final and I’m going to let you win? No way. We kill each other. People fight in training but then it’s in the tournament final or a spot in the raking, a spot in the national team, a million-dollar at the PFL? You can’t close out, man.”

Ivan won’t be present in Arlovski’s corner Saturday since the former UFC heavyweight champion will have Mike Brown, Steve Mocco and Paulino Hernandes by his side at the UFC Apex, but has been in the corner for brother vs. brother boxing matches in Brazil before. It won’t be something new for Gabriel either.

“There are days we have 70 people training at the same time in the gym, people from all over the world,” Gabriel said. “We can separate it well. We have 20 coaches, so no one is alone. The gym is huge. Sometimes they come in to train at the same time and don’t even see each other.”

That did happen ahead of UFC Vegas 63. De Lima usually trains in the morning with Gabriel while Arlovski shows up at ATT in the afternoon to work out with Ivan, but had to switch plans due to a schedule conflict one day.

“I told ‘Pezao’ that my protege heard he was waking up early to train so he decided to show up early as well,” Ivan said with a laugh. “[Fighting teammates] is inevitable at American Top Team. Everybody is on the run for something. Some for the belt, others to crack into the top-15, others to avoid getting cut, so they will fight each other one day.”

“They treat that naturally because it’s happening very often, and [Arlovski vs. de Lima] won’t be the last,” Gabriel added. “There are so many guys here that might fight each other.”

The Oliveira brothers won’t get into details of what their athletes plan on doing Saturday, but did break down the biggest weapons they see in their opponents.

“Andrei’s speed,” Gabriel said. “Andrei is in great shape despite his age and knows how to use that big body of his. We’re working to minimize the risks and fight smart.”

“‘Pezao’ is very strong and explosive, especially in the first round,” Ivan said. “We’re working to avoid that and keep the fight in a better distance [for us] — we can’t say much more than that [laughs].”

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