Ricardo Arona. Photo by Scott Petersen/MMAWeekly.com.
Former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Ricardo Arona looked rusty in his first fight in over two years, but managed to put together enough offense to stifle challenger Marvin Eastman en route to a unanimous decision victory in the main event of Saturday night’s Bitetti Combat 4 event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Arona (14-5) started the fight on a high note, connecting with a pair of leg kicks to Eastman’s thigh, one of them sending the UFC veteran falling to the canvas. A couple of successful takedowns saw Arona control the majority of the first round on the mat. However, Arona’s infamous lack of cardio began to show at the start of the second round, which featured very little, if any offense from either fighter.
Ricardo Arona. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout Ricardo Arona will return to active competition for the first time in over two years when he takes on fellow veteran Marvin Eastman at Bitetti Combat 4 this Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It will be the first fight for Arona since losing three out of four bouts under the PRIDE banner, including a brutal knockout at the hands of a streaking Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at PRIDE 34 in April 2007. Eastman is coming off of a second-round TKO of Aron Lofton at a Maximum Fighting Championship show in May.
Stefan Struve. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
— Towering heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve has reportedly been tapped to face undefeated All-American collegiate wrestler Chase Gormley at UFC 104, which takes place on October 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.. Bout agreements have apparently been signed. Gormley was originally slated to face Ben Rothwell at the event but Rothwell was recently moved into a main card matchup against Cain Velasquez. [Fighters Only Magazine]
— A number of notable MMA veterans are in action this weekend. Art of Fighting’s latest offering in Tampa, Florida includes Seth Petruzelli, competing for the first time since his 14-second win over Kimbo Slice, going up against Chris Baten. Marcio Cruz and Delson Heleno will be on the AOF card as well. Neil Grove and Brad Pickett will also be defending their respective Ultimate Challenge UK titles in London, England while Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Masakazu Imanari, and Ryo Chonan are in action at DEEP 43 in Japan. [Bloody Elbow]
Ricardo Arona. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Two years after his shocking upset loss to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at PRIDE Fighting Championship’s final show, former light heavyweight standout Ricardo Arona has yet to fight again. Offers from DREAM, Affliction, and others have come and gone, but Arona has yet to be contacted by the one promotion he truly wants to fight in - the UFC.
UFC President Dana White recently responded to Tatame.com regarding questions raised by Arona as to why he was never offered a contract with the organization following Zuffa’s purchase of PRIDE two years ago. (It’s tough to fully understand what White is trying to say because of the English to Portugese translation, but he basically stated there is little interest in Arona) Still, despite White’s comments, Arona is still actively pursuing a chance with MMA’s top brand:
After hearing the UFC president, Arona said that didn’t want to be offensive to the event. “Certainly Dana White thought I was criticizing him, that I was talking bad about his event, but it wasn’t. I didn’t want to belittle the athletes of the UFC, that wasn’t my intention”, says Arona, asking for a chance to show his value in the octagon. “I never had a direct position from him, I wasn’t contacted by the Ultimate. Dana White could give me an opportunity to know if I’m good or not”, finalized Arona.
It’s hard to say when Arona is finally going to return to action. For now, he’s slated to compete at ADCC ‘09 later this year. He said that he was ready to go last April, but remains on the sidelines a year later. Being able to test himself in the UFC would be the ideal situation for Arona, but the truth is that he hasn’t fault in over two years and even then, had lost three out of his last four fights. He would be better off shaking off the rust in DREAM, who would likely be content to feed Arona a couple of lesser opponents than the UFC would.
Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
One year after he fell victim to upstart Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, former PRIDE light heavyweight title contender Ricardo Arona has announced his intent to return to active competition.
Arona recently took part in an interview with Brazilian website Tatame, where he revealed his main reasoning behind taking such a long hiatus from fighting.
“I’ve had some options to fight, but taking time away was very important to me,” Arona said in the article. “I needed to get some things right in my life but what’s important to me now is that I really want to fight and come back ready to go in the ring.”
The demise of the PRIDE Fighting Championships saw a slew of fighters that were under contract with the organization go without fighting for upwards of a year. However very few of them have experienced any sort of problems in their bouts when it comes to ring rust. Arona doesn’t expect his time away from the sport to have a negative effect on his comeback.
“Undoubtedly if you compete all the time, you’ll always get better,” Arona said. “I’m not worried with this kind of challenge. Although I haven’t gotten into the ring in a long time, I’ve faced challenges in my life, in everything I do. You have to well prepared and have your mind ready. I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about being 100% when I return.”
A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.
Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.
The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.
Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.
There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.
Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:
“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”
I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.
News and Notes
- MMAWeekly is reporting that Hermes Franca has left The Armory and he is now in the process of opening his own gym in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The gym will be opening in November. It will be inside of a boxing gym called Palm Beach Boxing Club that will now also house Team Hermes Franca.
The gym can be found at 1611 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Fla. Interested parties can call at either 561-833-2131 or 561-319-6608.
- Ricardo Arona told Tatame that he has not signed with M-1 but he has received offers from organizations in Canada and the USA.
“I did not close with the M-1. I heard very on this for ai, but I did not receive no proposal to fight against the Stench. Pra you to be sincere I nor know this event”, I said Arona, that he intends to still make a fight this year. “It arrived some proposals of Canada, of the States and Japan, but I am waiting best the proposal to still close a fight in December”, disclosed the BTT.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Hardcore Championship Fighting in Canada was interested in acquiring the services of Arona. HCF has been on a tear lately signing the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
- MMA Madness caught up with Ken Shamrock to get his thoughts on a variety of subjects including his brother, Frank Shamrock.
MMA Madness: Frank has openly stated he’s willing to fight you. Is the feeling mutual for you?
Shamrock: Do you want the complete and honest truth?
MMA Madness: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Shamrock: Frank is the kind of guy who will only fight someone if he thinks he can beat them. He won’t fight me unless he talks enough crap that he gets pushed into it by the fans. He might even price himself out of the fight just to get out of it. He’s done that before. He walks around saying he’s the Lion’s Den guy and this and that. He was probably my third best guy when I was training them all, behind [Jerry] Bohlander and [Guy] Mezger. Also, Frank has problems against people who can take him down and he knows I would take him down. Look at his fight against Renzo [Gracie]! I can knock him down and punch him out. He’s my brother and all, but don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t fight him.
- MMA Junkie has teamed up with “The Bubba the Love Sponge Show” and will become the MMA content provider for the show’s official website.
Sherdog: Akiyama to Fight Kang in Korean HERO’S
Sherdog: New Japanese MMA Event, Association Introduced
MMAWeekly: Karo Not Worried About Facing Chonan
The Fight Network: Manager Snubs IFL
UFC: Sylvia’s Quest for a Third Belt Begins Saturday
A lot of news to report so I’ve decided to throw up a Sunday edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Pancrase has been forced to cancel it’s championship main event for this morning’s 2007 Rising Tour show after former heavyweight King of Pancrase Kestutis “Tiger” Arbocius pulled a no-show. His scheduled opponent, current Heavyweight King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva, has been removed from the card and will defend his title at a later date.
Officials from Sherdog have stated that varying reports reveal that no one really knows where Arbocius is right now:
Initial reports from Japanese media, which attributed information to Arbocius’ management, suggested that the 32-year-old Lithuanian* may have had difficulty with local police.
A Pancrase official disputed that report, telling Sherdog.com via e-mail, “Nobody knows where he is, even his manager. Pancrase is trying to keep in touch with him.”
Yuki Kondo’s bout against Yuji Sakuragi will now serve as the main event for the show.
- Shooto has announced five more bouts for it’s Back to our Roots 6 card, set for November 8th at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo:
Shinichi Kojima vs Eduardo Dantas
Megumi Fujii vs Kyoko Takabayashi
Rambaa Somdet vs Masaaki Sugawara
Masashi Yozen vs Leandro Silva
Hayate Usui vs Shintaro Ishiwatari
- In a recent interview with ADCC News, Jake Shields stated that he is closer to signing with the UFC than EliteXC right now:
“I want to go out there and fight the best. I’m really looking at UFC over Elite because that is where a lot of top guys are. In the next few weeks I’ll probably make my decision on where I’m going to be signing. I’m sure we’re going to talk to them in the next week before we sign anything with Elite. I’m ready to get in there with the top guys. With the Rumble on the Rock tournament and EliteXC and my last four or five fights have been top come and have been fast, easy fights. I think it definitely shows I belong there.”
- The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting is currently in contract talks with Vitor Belfort, Ricardo Arona, and John Alessio:
The Canadian fight club has been on a big-name signing binge of late.
Pride’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC veterans Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Joe Riggs have signed on. Negotiations are ongoing with former UFC heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, Pride vet Ricardo Arona and Canadian John Alessio.
“We are the only Canadian promotion that is bringing in huge international names,” says Crawford. “We remain committed to promoting local talent, but I believe Canadians are educated in the sport and want to see the world’s best.”
- American Top Team has announced that Seth Petruzelli has joined the ranks of the Florida-based training team:
Seth has been involved in the MMA scene for awhile and decided to join ATT to help further his career while preparing and train for his fights. When not preparing for his fights at the Main academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Seth will continue teaching at ATT Orlando along with Paul Rodriguez.
Look for Seth to be back in action Oct. 27th at Knight Fights in Orlando, Florida.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Strikeforce will hold a four-man middleweight tournament at their next event on November 16th:
Strikeforce announced the first one-night tournament ever in California, which will be a four-man middleweight tournament featuring Joe Riggs and Falaniko Vitale on 11/16 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion. Promoter Scott Coker said it was be streamed live on Yahoo! like the Playboy Mansion show was. Cung Le will be in the non-tourament main event.
News and Notes
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Ricardo Arona is not close to signing a deal with the UFC, or any organization for that matter:
While Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has already said as much, FiveOuncesOfPain.com can confirm that there is very little validity to the rumors that Ricardo Arona is close to finalizing a deal with the UFC.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted a source close to Arona via e-mail and that source has indicated that he will be in Europe for the next 40 days, making a deal almost impossible to complete. Furthermore, Arona has made no mention to the source about the possibility of signing with the UFC.
- Speaking of Caplan, it seems that he has added Adam Morgan to his team at Five Ounces. I that brings Adam’s total of websites written for to four. Adam is a monster.
- The Fight Network’s Great Fight North column has some good news inside:
Jonathan Goulet is hoping to fight next in November despite dislocating his elbow against Dustin Hazelett at UFC 76.
Bill Mahood’s fight against Bobby Southworth at this weekend’s Strikeforce event will not be for Southworth’s Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight Title.
Denis Kang is apparently training for a return at an October or November K-1 Hero’s event.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Dean Lister may be taking on Jordan Radev at UFC 79 in December:
UFC rookie Jordan Radev (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will likely face Dean Lister (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 79 in December.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the fight from a source close to the fighter, but Ken Pavia, Radev’s agent, said he couldn’t comment on the report or confirm that a deal was close to being signed.
- In a recent interview with FOX Sports, UFC President Dana White stated that he’s still confident he can sign Fedor and Brock Lesnar still isn’t officially with the UFC:
He also was very confident of signing Fedor Emelianenko, but felt it wouldn’t happen until after Emelianenko competes in a Russian sambo tournament in the fall. White said it was incorrect the story, claimed by Kurt Angle, that Brock Lesnar had signed with UFC. But he did hope to make the deal.
News and Notes
- MMA Junkie is reporting a lot of news lately…
The UFC has apparently signed former PRIDE, Shooto, and Pancrase veteran Akihiro Gono and has sent UFC welterweight Tamdan McCrory a contract proposing the fight according to McCrory’s manager:
“He’ll (be at) UFC 78 if he accepts the fight, which I assume he will considering he has fought top guys his whole career,” Ciotoli.
”(The UFC’s been) trying to get me on that card, being that I’m from the area and have a strong fan base in New Jersey,” McCrory told us last month.
Marvin Eastman has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Demian Maia at UFC 77 after undergoing eye surgery:
“I had a weak spot on my retina for a long time, and about two weeks ago, it tore a little bit,” Eastman said. “It felt like sleepy eye. I went in to check it out last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and I was in surgery by 7. It’s fixed now, and I’ve got to chill a month and can’t fight until November.“
No word as of yet on a replacement opponent for Eastman.
Chris Lytle may be heading over to the WEC for a possible title shot against WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit:
MMA fan favorite and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” welterweight runner-up Chris Lytle may be leaving the UFC for Zuffa LLC’s other fight promotion — the WEC — and may be in line for an immediate title shot.
In fact, a source close to current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (21-4) first contacted MMAjunkie.com about the possibility, saying UFC and WEC officials were discussing the potential title fight. However, the WEC recently folded a proposed November event into its Dec. 12 fight card, and as of now, the organization has far more fighters than it has fight slots.
A reliable source tell us that a Condit-Lytle fight would happen no sooner than February 2008 — if then — because of the backlog.
- Brazilian MMA website Tatame is reporting that former PRIDE star Ricardo Arona may currently be in contract talks with the UFC.
Hat tip to UFC Mania for the Arona link.
- So Matt Hamill has a torn ACL? He also fought Michael Bisping with that torn ACL? Read what Adam Morgan and 411Mania have to say about that.
- It seems that the UFC has took down UFC Takedown:
Late last week, Matt Cava of UFCtakedown.com was issued a Cease and Desist by Zuffa, LLC. He has been told to remove his website. They specifically nailed him for using UFC in his URL as well as broadcasting illegal fight videos. September 8th’s UFC 75: Champion v. Champion videos as well as a fight between Ricardo Arona and Quinton Jackson were specifically mentioned. As of today, UFCtakedown.com no longer exists. In the meantime, Matt has been able to secure MMAtakedown.net for the time being.
- Brigham Young University has banned Versus from the school’s channel selection, citing costs and the broadcasting of MMA as the reasons:
BYU has banned access to Versus on its campus cable, citing cost and content issues such as ultimate fighting.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that one.
Luke Thomas, Sam Caplan, and Matt Cava recap EliteXC: Uprising and preview UFC 76.
Sherdog: Tale of Two Coaches
MMA Weekly: Catching up with Matt Lindland
Fight Opinion: Pro Elite pays big for KOTC & Cage Rage
Fightlinker: Kang forsakes America, may secretly be a communist
Bloody Elbow: How to Build a MMA Cage?
Houston Chronicle: Fitch gets his shot at UFC’s main stage
Daily Star: Dancing Iceman’s Hot Move
Chicago Sports: Keeping up with Montini’s Chase Beebe