(I don’t do this for everybody, but I’m willing to drop my asking price to $250,000 and a 10% stake in the UFC. Have you seen my fight with Fedor?)
According to Ricardo Arona, he is only one win away from getting an invite to the UFC, but finding a promotion to fight for hasn’t been easy for the former PRIDE middleweight champion.
"That conversation with Dana White was basically about it, that I’d fight again in other event to recover my rhythm, and it’d be a good thing for me. I’d like to fight on UFC, I feel like I’m ready for it, but if I have to fight again first, there’s no problem with that, too," he recently told Tatame’s Guilherme Cruz. "[War on the Mainland] called me about fighting [at one of their] events, but there’re nothing set. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I want to fight abroad, not in Brazil."
Sources from a few promotions I’ve spoken to indicate that the main reason why Arona, who flaked out on signing with Strikeforce in 2009, hasn’t been snatched up by a smaller organization is that he expects to be paid like a PRIDE champion, not a former PRIDE champion who has only fought three times since 2006 and won by decision over 39-year-old 17-12-1 journeyman Marvin Eastman in his last outing. Not many organizations want to open their purse strings for a fighter who has been inactive and hasn’t proven himself in years, which is likely the main sticking point to the UFC inking him as well.
That being said, if he can get back to form, there would be no shortage of great match-ups in the UFC for the 32-year old, most notably a rematch with UFC lightweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Hopefully he doesn’t make it to the UFC only to under-perform like his fellow former-PRIDE brethren Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Heath Herring, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Akihiro Gono, Ryo Chonan, Denis Kang and