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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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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Dana White puts up with so much…

Dana White with a funny fan in Rio de Janeiro / Photo: personal archive

By Marcelo Dunlop

There are exactly six months to go till UFC Rio, on August 17, 2011, an event guaranteed to make history for the city, for Brazilians, and for the athletes. And – why not? – the UFC’s organizers.

Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were in Rio de Janeiro on December 15, but they didn’t get the chance to make the most of what the city has to offer.

During the frenzy of the press conference, a GRACIEMAG reporter approached Dana White to shoot the breeze.

Will you have time to get to see the Jiu-Jitsu academies in the city, Mr. President?

Shoot, thanks for the invitation, but not likely. Whenever I take these trips its the biggest rush and I get too worn out, imagine trying to train. And I’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning.

What about Lorenzo, would he like to get a roll in?

We can ask him…

And up come kids wanting to take photos Dana White, the press asking him to pose with the Brazilian flag, with Anderson Silva, with Vitor Belfort, with Royce Gracie. Dana humored them all with interviews, as usual.


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Nogueira reports: “Anderson wanted to leave MMA to run a car-wash”

By Fighters Only

UFC heavyweight legend Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira has been writing a MMA column called “Jogo Extra” on Jornal Extra in Brazil [printed issue] where he tells stories from the backstages and shares his remarks on events and related news in general.

He reveals that some years ago, middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva visited the Big Nog team in Curitiba with the intent of borrowing money to start a new business: a car-wash.

“In 2003, then unknown Anderson Silva visited a gym that I own in Curitiba. In the fight world, Anderson already had certain name, had fought in Brazil and Japan but wasn’t going on a good moment in the career. He had left Chute Boxe – where Mauricio Shogun and Wanderlei Silva were revealed for MMA – and was very disappointed with the sport,” Nog recalls.

“Anderson was received in the academy by cousin Marcio Mamá. The Spider said he enjoyed a lot my fights in Pride, main MMA promotion of that epoch, and spoke openly about his desillusion, the wish of giving up fighting professionally and about his financial setbacks. He even speculated the possibility of asking me money borrowed to run a car-wash in the suburg of Curitiba.”

“When I knew about Anderson’s visit and his plan of leaving the sport, I reacted immediately. I called my cousin and told him that we wouldn’t permit that Anderson changed his dream for a car-wash. I invited him to train with me in Rio de Janeiro and the rest of the history we already know, the guy turned out a legend.”


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Wanderlei doesn’t confirm fight, but is ready for anything

Photos: By Graciemag.com

by Carlos Eduardo Ozório

GRACIEMAG.com stopped by Wanderlei Silva’s gym in Las Vegas. Being the gentleman he is, Wanderlei didn’t just welcome in the reporter, but another dozen fans who were dying to meet the MMA legend. Among them were notable figures like Fredson Alves, a Gracie Humaitá black belt.

Over there, we took the opportunity to ask about the fight with Brian Stann that was announced for UFC 130, on May 28. The “Axe Murderer” was content to leave the question hanging in mystery, though.

“I’m still not 100% sure it’s going to be this opponent they’ve been talking about. Maybe, maybe not. If it is, it’ll be a good fight, a fight with him is doable,” said Wand last Friday.

However, should the UFC maintain the matchup, the fighter is ready.

“To me it doesn’t matter who it is. With what I make, I obviously have to fight anyone. I want a big name guy who’ll raise my stock too,” he added.

When the UFC touched down in Brazil in 1998, Wand saw action against Vitor Belfort in the octagon set up in São Paulo. Now he would like to fight in the country again, this time in Rio de Janeiro at the August event.

“I’d really like to fight in Rio, and I think it would be really cool. We’ll see, because I still don’t know the exact date of when I’ll next fight. Depending on when, it may be possible for me to fight in Rio. It will be a really cool event, which will come in making a different kind of impact. It shows how MMA is something else,” he said.

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