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Ricardo Arona eyeing possible return to competition in February

Ask an average MMA fan to compile a list of PRIDE’s top fighters and chances are Ricardo Arona’s name won’t be among them. Ask a more knowledgeable Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast and you’re likely to get a different answer.

The Brazilian was at one point considered to be among the best light heavyweights in the sport before taking a significant break due to injuries among other reasons. Prior to his hiatus from competition, Arona had beaten the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, and Alistair Overeem. That being said, he has only fought once since being knocked out by Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in April 2007, and has fallen into relative obscurity due to the infrequency of his in-ring appearances (only three since the end of 2005).

According to a conversation with Tatame, Arona hopes to change the latter in the coming months, and though he would prefer to test his skills in the UFC he understands he needs to win again, as he did in his most recent bout against journeyman Marvin Eastman in September 2009.

Arona stated he spoke to UFC President Dana White earlier this year who indicated another victory would be necessary before the promotion could considering signing him, saying of the situation, “I’d like to fight (for the) UFC. I feel like I’m ready for it, but if I have to fight again first, there’s no problem with that too.”

As far as when he’ll return to the ring, Arona said he has a few options out there for events in Brazil, like Bitetti Combat and a future “War on the Mainland” show, but is hoping to sign with an organization outside of his home-country. “I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I want to fight abroad, not in Brazil,” responded Arona when asked about what was next for him.

The 32-year old holds a record of 14-5 with three of the losses coming in his last five bouts. In addition to wins over the afore-mentioned opponents, Arona has claimed victories over Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Kazushi Sakuraba, as well as holds a pair of wins against Jeremy Horn. However, he is probably best known for a loss he incurred after being on the wrong-end of a Quinton “Rampage” Jackson powerbomb at a PRIDE event in 2004.

9 COMMENTS
  • Dufresne says:

    I’m hoping Arona can get back his winning mojo, he used to be awesome. If he can get his head back in the game and fix some of his in-ring issues as well, I would love to see him fighting in one of the bigger organizations.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i guess i remember a different Arona. i mean, he has always been an awesome grappler but i just remeber him being the brazillian epitomy of lay and pray, (other than when he obliterated Saku).
    his only top draw wins were decisions, and before someone says he was the first mw (lhw) to beat wanderlei, i thought Silva did enough in that fight to win, plus i’m not 100% certain what wanderlei and shogun would have done in their final match. i think giving arona the win solved a lot of problems for Pride.
    anyway, unless he has learnt to tuck his chin, he wont make it against any quality opponents. i think arona has the most north pointing chin in all of mma

  • Niv says:

    I too hope Arona can get his game back as I enjoyed watching him fight in Pride.

    The Quinton Rampage Jackson power bomb was quite unfortunate as Arona was completely to blame for allowing it to happen. He had nailed Rampage with an up kick and subsequently appeared to ko Jackson, he stopped fighting and started to lobby the ref to stop the fight when Jackson suddenly came alive and slammed him. I rank that mistake amongst one of the worst I’ve ever seen in a mma fight.

    Aside from that he was a great competitor, I hope he gets a string of fights going to shake off that ring rust, if successful he would be a great addition to any organization whether the UFC, SF, Bellator etc, etc.

  • Niv says:

    Having said what I did above I do agree with you hindsightufuk that Arona defintely needs to learn how to tuck that chin. It was the biggest problem with his style and the key reason a guy like Sokodjou was able to ko him so easily.

  • boomnutz says:

    i would like to see Arona in the UFC, the LHW as stacked as it is could use some better grapplers, he’d be a nice wrench to throw, i could picture a hell of a fight between him and Forrest

  • Guthookd says:

    Man that was a sweet slam.

    :)

    Thanks for the memories Ric.

  • MCM says:

    I too always enjoyed watching Arona. It’s funny how Rampage still gets credit for KOing Arona with a slam when it was the ensuing Headbutt that actually KO’d him. Even though he goes to Dec a lot, he is a great grappler and unlike many of the wrestlers out now his grappling fights are usually exciting.

    I also thought he beat Fedor. 😉

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3891832709081896340#

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yep Rampage still has the scar on his eyebrow from that clash of heads

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    No Niv he had him in a Triangle and Quinton slammed him and the clash of heads combined with the impact of the throw KOed Arona. At least that is what I saw.

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