Sorry if this has been posted already. Looked to see if Arona was mentioned in the headlines recently, and didn't see it. I know there's always a "where's Arona" thread somewhere, but thought this could use it's own thread here, since he seems to have UFC Rio in mind.
Without fighting since 2009, when he beat Marvin Eastman upo n Bitetti Combat 4, Ricardo Arona canít wait to return to the rings. The tough guy suffered a knee injury on his last fight and heís almost 100% recovered. Training in Itacoatiara with Paulo Filho among other athletes, Arona guarantees that in two months top heíll be ready to fight and dreams with a vacancy on UFC Rio, which happens on August 27th, in Rio de Janeiro.
ďI donít have a contract signed with nobody, but I want to be ok to sign a contract, preferably an international one, but Brazil has been evolving a lot, so maybe Iíll fight in Brazil again. My goal is to dispute an international championship, except if itís on UFC Rio, because itís an international championship, but itíll be in Brazil. If I have the chance to fight on UFC in August, itíll be the ideal. Iíve been training thinking about it, I want to be 100% to return on this UFC in Brazil, I think itíd be perfect to return on UFC Rio and Iíve been training hard for itĒ, commented Arona.
How is your knee recovery and how is your preparation?
Itís ok. Iím not giving 100% on my trainings yet, but Iím training it all: Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, conditioning trainingsÖ My knee is almost 100% healed, Iím almost ready to fight. Iím training hard, working on my conditioning, Iím preparing to return this year. Iím preparing, confident, training hard, doing some physiotherapy and preparing myself to return in 2010.
Is there a crew helping you out in Niteroi?
Yeah, thereíre some friends here, Iím training with them. Paulo comes to train with me all the time, weíre a team with few people, but good ones. Weíre training hard, and weíre moving forwards, improving. Iím evolving on my recovery, training with my friends and doing well.
Paulo is about to participate of a fighting marathon: three fights in three months. How is he preparing himself for this marathon?
Iíve talked about it with Paulo and I think itís too much for him to do in such a short period of time, but he says itís important for him to earn more experience and be active. The ideal would be for him to sign with an international event, but meanwhile, heíll fight a lot to remain active, conditioned. Heís thrilled for these fights and you can hope heíll dig it.
Ximu is a guy you know well, and heíll be the last opponent of Paulo on this marathon heís about to begin. How do you see this confrontation?
I think this fight will be interesting because they both are experienced, Ximu has fought athletes of great level, just like Paulo, and it will be a great fight. I cheer for them both to do a good fight, to put on a good show. Paula is optimist for this fight, heís training a lot and heís doing well, so you can hope for a great fight.
Do you consider fighting in smaller events or do you want to return to the big events, even if you hasnít fought for a while?
I donít have a contract signed with nobody, but I want to be ok to sign a contract, preferably an international one, but Brazil has been evolving a lot, so maybe Iíll fight in Brazil again. My goal is to dispute an international event, except if itís on UFC Rio, because itís an international event, but itíll be in Brazil. If I have the chance to fight on UFC in August, itíll be the ideal.
People like you a lot in Rio de Janeiro... Itíd be a great chance for you to fight on UFC Rio, right?
Iíve been training thinking about it, I want to be 100% to return on this UFC in Brazil, I think itíd be perfect to return on UFC Rio and Iíve been training hard for it.
Youíve always fought in rings, but your game style matches the grids, using your takedownsÖ How do you see this change?
I think so too. The grid for me is a new thing, but I felt pretty comfortable taking the guys down and working my elbows out. It matched my game style, itíd be great to fight under these conditions, so I hope to fight on UFC.
After that meeting you had with Dana White, have you talked to the guys from UFC?
No. What Dana Whiteís told me was: ďitíd be perfect if you fought once before coming. We have a vacancy for you here on UFC, but you should fight first to earn rhythmĒ. I told him it was ok, and that Iíd like to return to UFC, and now that UFC is here in Brazil, itíll be great to gather the two things: fighting in Brazil on UFC Rio. If I have the chance to do it, itíd be great to fight on UFC in August.
When will you be 100% ready to return to the rings?
If things donít change, in two months Iíll be 100%. If God helps meÖ I canít wait to be fighting again.
Youíve fought Shogun and ended up being beat on Prideís GP. How do you see his bout with Jon Jones?
I believe on Shogunís experience. Jon Jones might be winning, heís much skilled, heís a newcomer, so heíll learn from his experiencesÖ I think Shogun has to use it on his favor over Jon Jones. I believe itís important that Shogun set a game plan based on his experience because Jon Jones has a great number of coups launched over his opponents while standing, on the floor, anywhere. I think Shogun has to use his head and, if he does that, I believe he can win this fight.