Height: 5'11" (181cm)
Weight: 200 lbs
Ricardo Arona (born July 17, 1978 in Brazil) is a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter and PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix finalist. He has competed in PRIDE Fighting Championships and RINGS in his mixed martial arts career. Arona is known for his strength, and is considered one of the best light heavyweights in MMA.
He has been criticized, however, by some MMA fans for not attempting to finish fights, instead settling for decision wins by controlling his opponents on the ground from top position. He holds notable wins over Wanderlei Silva, Alistair Overeem, Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson, Guy Mezger, Dean Lister, Murilo Rua and Jeremy Horn.
He is a member of Brazilian Top Team.Ricardo Arona's popularity came from competing in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission wrestling competitions, where he won an open weight tournament as well as the 92kg (202 pound) tournament. Arona is the only competitor in Abu Dhabi to have won a championship and to be undefeated so far. ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Soon after Abu Dhabi Combat Club, Arona joined RINGS, a Japanese mixed martial arts promotion. Arona's only loss in RINGS came at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko, who later went on to become Pride Fighting Championships' Heavyweight Champion. After losing to Fedor, Arona won his last three fights in RINGS.
After getting noticed in RINGS, Arona was offered a contract to join PRIDE Fighting Championships. Arona started his career in PRIDE strong winning his first three fights against Guy Mezger, Dan Henderson and Murilo Rua. He then lost his fourth fight to Quinton Jackson in a spectacular knockout from a slam. Arona claimed that an illegal headbutt he received by Jackson at the end of the slam was what knocked him out. Four months later, Arona returned to PRIDE and won his next 3 fights. On April 23 2005, Arona entered PRIDE's Middleweight (205 lbs) Grand Prix. Arona won his first fight in the tournament against Dean Lister by unanimous decision. In the 2nd round of the Grand Prix, he won his fight against the famous Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba via TKO (Doctor Stoppage).
His semifinal match, against rival Wanderlei Silva, was held on August 28, 2005. Arona surprised everyone when he defeated Silva, who was the PRIDE Middleweight Champion at the time, by decision handing Silva his first middle weight defeat in Pride. After defeating Silva, Arona advanced to finals where he faced rising star Mauricio Rua "Shogun". In a dominant performance, Rua defeated Arona by knockout in the first round.
On September 10, 2006 Arona faced Alistair Overeem. After withstanding the initial attack from Overeem, Arona landed an inside leg kick, injuring his opponent's leg and making him drop to the ground. Arona quickly overwhelmed Overeem on the ground and showed complete domination throughout the bout. He continued his assault until Overeem tapped out from a barrage of strikes.
Arona claims he suffered from a dengue fever, before a KO loss to Sokoudjou at PRIDE 34 on April 8, 2007.