Former Pride FC star and grappling phenom Ricardo Arona (13-5) is set to make his long-awaited return to mixed martial arts competition against UFC veteran Marvin Eastman (16-9-1) at Bitetti Combat from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sept. 12, according to Super Latas.
The multiple-time ADCC Submissions wrestling champion Arona has not competed since April 2007, which was a losing effort to Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at Pride 34 "Kamikaze." Arona was on the receiving end of a brutal knockout and, in the process, added to the hype of the young brash newcomer at the time.
He’ll attempt to erase that memory and get back on track with a win over Eastman and possibly look to move onto a bigger organization if he’s successful. In fact, he’s had his eyes set on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for a while and even claimed "the UFC rules were made for him."
The promotion, however, hasn’t expressed any interest in picking him up just yet. He’ll likely have to rack up a few wins to clamber up the light heavyweight ladder to get noticed again. Or perhaps a return to "The Land of the rising Sun" is a more viable option, seeing as the country has hosted all of his previous 18 fights.
His opponent, Eastman, washed out of the UFC last June when he was victimized by Drew McFedries at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale 7. He would then go on to lose his next bout after that to Denis Kang late last year. He managed to turn his luck around this year with an impressive technical knockout win over Aron Loft at MFC 21: "Hard Knocks."
"The Beastman" now takes a step up in competition against the likes of Arona, in what should present an interesting styles clash with Eastman likely looking to brawl it out while Arona probably would like to get things to the mat quickly and work from there.