(Arona, coming soon to a cage near you.)
PRIDE vet Ricardo Arona has stated he’ll be back at it very soon. It’s been exactly a year and a day since Sokoudjou KO’d him in the first round at PRIDE 34 and Arona says he spent the time off training and getting his shit together — my words, not his. He has been working on his physical training as well as becoming a better student of the game, and now both US and Japanese organizations are courting him to fight. So he’s weighing his options. While no specific date was revealed or a possible opponent named, a fight for the native of Brazil appears on the horizon.
Any fighter who is outta’ there for more than a year is prone to collecting a little rust, but Arona, who is 13-5 overall, isn’t worried about losing his timing:
Undoubtedly, if you compete all the time you’ll get always better at the ring, but I’m not worried with this kind of challenge. Although I don’t get into the rings, I’ve faced challenges all day in my life, in everything I do. Being well prepared, the mind will be ready too and I’m not worried about that, I’m worried of being 100%.
Good theory, but the challenges I face in everyday life — like pretending I’m not looking at the cashier’s boobs while she rings up my case of beer and pound of jerky — doesn’t really prepare me for anything other than avoiding being creepy while in public. Maybe Arona will have a different experience.
Since the downfall of PRIDE, Arona has been linked to the UFC, Yarennoka!, and HCF events, but none of those panned out. A bout of Dengue Fever further kept Arona out of action. If you don’t know anything about Dengue Fever, it’s not the start of a good week — unless you enjoy a good rash.
Moving on…“Shaolin” Ribeiro is also ready for action again and says he is recouped from his eye injury. He is slated to fight on a DREAM card in the near future, but it’s not clear who he will fight or which event it will be. “Shaolin” had this to say:
“I’m training full-contact fighting as usual and can do everything. My eye’s 100% and this was just another injury like any other. I should fight in April or May, I’m ready for them to call me, whether its a normal match, part of the GP or a reserve fight, I have a contract with K-1 and I’m ready. On the winners of the first phase of the GP, I wasn’t suprised by anything, all the ones to win were really tough, including Eddie Alvarez who beat Andre Dida. I already knew of him from Bodog. He’s really tough and I knew that if he wasn’t doing well standing, he’d take him down.”
The Brazilian lightweight is 19-2 overall and is a veteran of Shooto, Cage Rage, and K-1 Heroes.