Ricardo Arona wants a chance to fight at UFC Rio

By Erik Engelhart

Without fighting since 2009, when he beat Marvin Eastman upo n Bitetti Combat 4, Ricardo Arona can’t wait to return to the rings. The tough guy suffered a knee injury on his last fight and he’s almost 100% recovered. Training in Itacoatiara with Paulo Filho among other athletes, Arona guarantees that in two months top he’ll be ready to fight and dreams with a vacancy on UFC Rio, which happens on August 27th, in Rio de Janeiro.

“I don’t have a contract signed with nobody, but I want to be ok to sign a contract, preferably an international one, but Brazil has been evolving a lot, so maybe I’ll fight in Brazil again. My goal is to dispute an international championship, except if it’s on UFC Rio, because it’s an international championship, but it’ll be in Brazil. If I have the chance to fight on UFC in August, it’ll be the ideal. I’ve been training thinking about it, I want to be 100% to return on this UFC in Brazil, I think it’d be perfect to return on UFC Rio and I’ve been training hard for it”, commented Arona.

How is your knee recovery and how is your preparation?
It’s ok. I’m not giving 100% on my trainings yet, but I’m training it all: Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, conditioning trainings… My knee is almost 100% healed, I’m almost ready to fight. I’m training hard, working on my conditioning, I’m preparing to return this year. I’m preparing, confident, training hard, doing some physiotherapy and preparing myself to return in 2010.


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Brazilian congressman attacks MMA, wants to ban the sport from TV

By Oriosvaldo Costa

The primitives warned us that the nation that steals from itself its artistic, cultural and sportive creations is condemned to fail. Not even is so called totalitarian countries, like Iran or Venezuela, MMA chased like it is in Brazil, where it’s been created.

I don’t really consider Brazil a democratic country. Fighters and managers may be deprived from their right to raise money, and the fans won’t have the freedom of chose what they want to have fun with.

The controversy bill of the reelected congressman Jose Mentor (PT-SP) might bring us a lot of headache pretty soon. I actually had to change this article like three times in two days because things wouldn’t stop to come up.

On the last week, PL 5.534/09 has been filled. However, Jose Mentor demanded it was reopened, and obeyed right away. These things make me think that this congressman will have even more influence on this new government than he had on the previous one.

He was able to convince, secretly, the current writer of the bill, so that he seems favorable to the approval of the project, unlike the former writer, who was against it. The infamous bill transacts in Brasilia since June of 2009 and intends to forbid the broadcast of non-Olympic combat sports on all kinds of Brazilian television.


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Henderson Plans Quick Return, Vows Successful Title Defense

By Mike Whitman

It only took one punch. Then again, when Dan Henderson is throwing, it usually only takes one punch.

The former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder found a home for his infamous overhand right and lifted Strikeforce’s light heavyweight championship from Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante in the main event of Saturday’s show at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

“I was excited for the fight and the chance to fight someone like ‘Feijao,’” the new champion told Sherdog.com following his title win. “I felt like the belt was just the cherry on top, and I love cherries.”

Though Henderson came out on top, the UFC veteran was forced to weather an early storm from Cavalcante. In the opening round, the Brazilian clipped “Hendo” with a straight right hand that sent the American reeling.

“I don’t know [how hurt I was]. Whether I’m hurt or not, I can never remember what I do to set things up half the time,” said Henderson. “He definitely knocked me down, but I felt like I had my wits about me the whole time. Luckily, I recovered fast, and he didn’t land any more shots.”


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Tim Kennedy Eager to Make a Statement in Battle with Melvin Manhoef

By Ben Fowlkes

When Tim Kennedy steps in against Melvin Manhoef in Strikeforce this Saturday night, it will have been nearly seven months since his last fight — a narrow decision loss against Strikeforce middleweight champ RonaldoJacare‘ Souza.

If you ask Kennedy, seven months is much too long without somebody to punch in the face on live TV. And it’s just possible, he’s willing to admit now, that maybe he didn’t handle the layoff all that well.

“I don’t mean to use an inappropriate metaphor, but you know that guy who really wants to go home with a girl, and it’s two o’clock in the morning and the bar’s closing down and he’s just going after everybody? He doesn’t care what they look like or what they weigh, he’s just up for anything? That’s how I’ve been feeling about a fight,” Kennedy told MMA Fighting. “Like, how about you? How about you? Just anybody.”

He’s still not entirely sure why it was so difficult to get an opponent and a date. Originally he’d hoped to get a rubber match with Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and he’d heard that Miller was willing and able. When that fight failed to materialize, Kennedy started to get a little desperate for some action.

“I was asking my confidants like, should I just start talking smack about people? Should I go to Japan? Should I go to Brazil? I was that really creepy guy outside the bar being like, ‘Hey, what are you doing later?’ I just wanted to fight.”

Ask long and loud enough, and ye shall receive. Eventually.


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Feijao on Fighting Henderson: “It’s an Honor.”

By Johnny Preston

STRIKEFORCE Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante is, simply put, a walking wrecking ball. The brutal striking power he displays in his bouts is such that he doesn’t even have to catch his opponent flush to put him down.

This Saturday, he’ll face a fighter with the same type of power in MMA legend Dan Henderson. Live on SHOWTIME®, both champion and challenger will look to lay it all on the line for those watching at home and those in attendance at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

I spoke with “Feijao” to get his thoughts on his preparation for the bout, and the fight itself.

Johnny Preston: You haven’t fought since you won the title in August. What have you been working on in your training?

“Feijao” Cavalcante: I was in Brazil helping my teammates prepare for their fights, and also working on my training. We have a lot of great guys helping us in all aspects of the game, so I feel confident overall.


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Following bizarre loss, UFC on Versus 3’s Palhares refocused

By John Morgan

Six months ago, Brazilian submission wizard Rousimar Palhares (11-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) was riding a three-fight win streak and earning some recognition as one of the top contenders in the UFC’s middleweight division.

But after a lapse in concentration left him the victim of a Nate Marquardt TKO, Palhares knows he’s starting from scratch again.

No matter, Palhares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Starting with tonight’s UFC on Versus 3 event, Palhares is prepared to climb his way up the ladder once again.

“I lost a very good chance in my last fight, and it hurts because I knew I had a very good chance to win the fight,” Palhares said through his trainer and interpreter, Murilo Bustamante. “So, no bad feelings; I just have to learn from my mistakes and work as hard as I can to recover my position in my division.”

Against Marquardt, Palhares found himself in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event. After missing an early takedown attempt, Palhares attempted to signal to referee Herb Dean that his opponent’s leg felt slippery. However, Dean did not call a halt to the action, and Marquardt seized the opportunity to net the TKO via ground and pound.


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Rafael Sapo wants a spot at UFC Rio card

By Guilherme Cruz

Right after UFC announced its return to Brazil, many Brazilian fighters expressed their desire to participate on this historical show, scheduled for August 27th, at HSBC Arena, in Rio de Janeiro.

Current living in New York, the Brazilian Rafael Sapo wants a spot on this great card, which has no names confirmed yet. “Maybe I’ll get a chance to fight on UFC Rio… It’s not likely, but it can happen, right? The line is big (laughs)”, joked the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, that for now is only worried about his injured knee, that forced him to cancel his fight with Alessio Sakara, on UFC on Versus 3.

“I was training hard, then the two guys training beside me fell and my knee twisted. I’ve injured my knee, but I’m already better… I’m taking it easy for now”, tells Sapo, explaining that a training partner warned him minutes about the accident.

“Big Dog (Ricardo Almeida) never warns me of anything, but on that day he told me to take care because Rashad (Evans) wouldn’t be fighting for the belt (against Mauricio Rua) because someone fell on his knee… And it happened to me”, said, regretting the fact he “lost” the chance to fight on the main card of UFC.


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