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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.”
If it seemed like Arona fell off of the face of the earth, it likely had to do with the lack of news surrounding him. Arona planned to jump right into the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Championships following his loss to Sokoudjou but the Brazilian contracted a round of Dengue Fever, the same illness that Arona says plagued him in the weeks leading him to his last fight.
Rumors of Arona signing with the likes of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Hardcore Championship Fighting turned out to be nothing of merit. Arona was also mentioned by DSE officials as a possible competitor at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but ultimately did not compete at the event.
So where will Arona end up next? It seems only time will tell at this point while the offers continue to come in.
“I was offered to fight in both the United States and Japan, but I’ll fight wherever the best offer comes from,” Arona concluded. “I think that’s what’s best for me. I don’t have anything in mind right now. Some more offers to fight in Japan have come in but nothing has been right yet.”