Ricard Arona aka The Brazilian Tiger is preparing for his light heavyweight return and first trip to the UFC Octagon this November according to recent report by Graciemag.com
If you haven't already heard of Arona it might be because you haven't been following MMA for more than then just this last few years or you haven't made a habit of following Japanese MMA in the past. Ricardo is a highly tauted Brazilian fighter with a BJJ blackbelt and great power in his hands and feet. Fighting in Japan, Arona has been in competition with some of MMA's most dangerous talent including fights with Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Oveereem, Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua, Kazushi Sakaraba, Wanderlei Silva and many other notable fighters.
With a record of 15 - 4 - 0 he was viewed as one of the top LHW prospects not fighting in North America in 2006 before disappearing shortly after the Zuffa acquisition of PRIDE.
In his past, Arona has failed to string together consecutive victories while facing some of the stiffest competition in MMA but all that might be about to change.
“I watch everything and everybody, I’m keeping up with things, and I can say I have what it takes to the UFC light heavyweight division, the most stacked of them all,” declared Ricardo Arona to Brazil’s Sportv television network "I always thought the cage was even better for my game,” Arona said. “I like to use elbows on the ground, which I couldn’t do in Pride."
Arona has been training at his home gym in Brazil while recovering from knee surgery and has also been a member of the Brazilian Top Team - the same camp as Rousimar Palhares and Murilo Bustamante. Although it's been reported that he recently split with BTT, it is now rumoured that Ricardo is looking for a new tier one camp to finish polishing his skills before making his Octagon debut. In 2009, Arona started his come back push with a decision victory of UFC veteran Marvin "Beastman" Eastman in Bietti Combat in Brazil.
Athough no date or opponent has been confirmed at this time, Dana White has confirmed speaking with Ricardo Arona about his addition to the UFC's most popular division. Personally, I would love to see him go the same route as fellow Brazilians Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva in their recent decisions to fight at MW.
Stay Tuned. And expect some good fights ahead.