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.
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