Nedan följer en intervju på engelska med BTTs Ricardo Arona som mma brasil har gjort.
Ricardo Arona är delvis en doldis i Pride men onekligen en av de bästa i mellanvikten. Med vinster i adcc, träning hos BTT och en mycket stark och stabil fightingstil i bagaget är det många bedömare som menar att Arona är den som har bäst möjlighet av alla Prides mellanviktare att slå Wanderlei Silva. Senast förlorade Arona snöpligt då han blev skallad av Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, här berättar han om matchen, om sin gamla osämja med Silva och om vad han tror om mötet mellan Belfort och Ortiz i UFC 51. Intervjun är gjord av Michel Cox på mmabrasil.com.br
By: Michel Cox
MMA BRASIL:Well, just to start, this interview was made by the readers of www.mmabrasil.com.br website. They made the questions and i chose the best ones. We all know that Wanderlei is the guy that you want to fight. But is there anyone else after him?
RICARDO ARONA: I used to have some personal things with Wanderlei because we already had some kind of argue, so i want to have this fight to put an end on it. But at the meantime, i had that accident in the fight with Quinton Jackson, where in my opinion i was winning that fight and then i got that strong headbutt and went blackout. so i want to fight Jackson too.
MMA BRASIL: Who are the toughest guys in your weight division?
RICARDO ARONA: I think its the hardest weight division and there are lots of good fighters. Quinton Jackson is pretty good, we also have Minotouro, Ninja, Dan Henderson which is always one of the favourites in his fights and very tough guy to beat. Another one that when comes down to our weight and is very dangerous and explosive is Kevin Randleman.
MMA BRASIL: Who was your best coach?
RICARDO ARONA: In fact, i think it would be unfair if i give just one name. I believe i am the result of various of Carlson GracieÂ´s black belts and some others. I am the work of a variety of people, so i cannot name just one.
MMA BRASIL: I was about to ask if you would give Quinton a rematch, but you have already answered, so, next question. who do you think will win in the next UFC, Belfort or Tito?
RICARDO ARONA: I think that Vitor is one of the best athletes in our team, no doubt about it. He has enormous phisical abilities, but he needs to be focused to win this fight. His only enemy is himself, and if he thinks that he will loose he really starts to fight badly. But tecnicaly, i think he is much better than Tito. So, itÂ´s just a matter of controlling his mind. But i think we wins.
MMA BRASIL: And how is going on with his trainings for the fight?
RICARDO ARONA: I was with him some hours ago and he is very well trained. He is travelling today and is very confident, which is the most important.
MMA BRASIL: It looks like you are a little more agresive in your fights. We can see that in your fight against Jackson and in this last one. It seems like you changed your style a little bit, is that so?
RICARDO ARONA: Yes. I come from a school (Carlson Gracie) where we didnt used to train too many ground positions for MMA. We used to train takedowns and when we get a good position, we used to stay there pounding. What happened is that the matches became a little boring and the people watching are coming to see a good show. So we are working on it. To have a much more active fight, more stand up and change a little this old way of fighting. Thats going to be my style from now on.
MMA BRASIL: Now, going back in time a little. Tell us about that misunderstanding with Wanderlei Silva in Japan?
RICARDO ARONA: That was my first fight in Pride and i went to have breakfast and he was next to me. So i came to say ‘hi’ and he looked into my face and didnt say a word. I could have let it go, but i didnt. So i said to him:”Hey, i am talking to you, arenÂ´t you going to say hello?” And he told me that he didnt have anything to say to me, and i believe itÂ´s something that wasnÂ´t even supposed to start, but it did and now thats the story.
MMA BRASIL: But do you think he was pissed because the BTT guys were trainning Yamamoto, who was supposed to fight Assuério that day?
RICARDO ARONA: That time our manager was the same as Yamamoto, so she asked us to do one trainning session with him. I didnt even know he was going to fight Assuério. But Wanderlei thought that we were training the guy. I understand his thinking, but i think that he could have checked out the facts before taking any attitude. But now this page is written and we are going until the end of it.
MMA BRASIL: And what did you think of last PrideÂ´s result?
RICARDO ARONA: I already knew that Wanderlei wouldnÂ´t win. I have seen both fighters career and i knew he didnt have enough standing techniques to win Hunt. He was brave, but Hunt is a much better striker. His chance was in Jiu Jitsu, take down and try to get a submission. But he wasnt efficient there. And Minotauro, i thought he would resist a little more to FedorÂ´s takedowns. And i think that was the big difference in the fight. Fedor could take him down any time and it made him look a little ‘fragile’ in the view of the judges.
MMA BRASIL: Ok, and what do you think of WanderleiÂ´s Jiu Jitsu black belt?
RICARDO ARONA: Well, everyone who is into the MMA business knows that this belt is not for real. The guy has never trained, never compete, never done anything, and then in a year, he comes as a black belt, something that takes at least ten years to get. That is ridiculous., but i dont have to keep talking about it. Each person knows what he has to do with his life. The most important is to get in the ring and show what we know. soon people will keep saying that i am a thai black belt. I dont know which belt i am, i know that i train hard but everytime i stepped in the ring i trade punches with the fighters and hurt some of them. But does that makes me a black belt? I dont know. All i know is that i train really hard and lots of thai. So, Wanderlei will have to train a lot to hold his belt. If he is a black belt, he has to hold it. thats all.
MMA BRASIL: You are one of the probable fighters to be on the next Pride in february. Do you know who are you fighting?
RICARDO ARONA: I was today talking with DSE Presidente, Mr. Sakakiraba, who is here in Brasil visiting the teams. and i wonÂ´t fight this next Pride in February. I will be on the April and June cards.
MMA BRASIL: And with the Middleweight GP and ADCC with close dates will it be good or bad for you?
RICARDO ARONA: ItÂ´s going to be a tough year for sure, because i will fight Pride in april, ADCC in may, then Pride again in June. So, i hope i donÂ´t get hurt because i want to do all these fights, i donÂ´t want to miss any of them. I am preparing myself a lot for this year.
MMA BRASIL: It looks like there may have more than one BTT athlete in the GP, Zé Mario, Minotouro, and others. What will happen if two athletes from the same team happen to fight one another?
RICARDO ARONA: This is a team decision, but in my personal opinion i believe that i am the oldest in the category from BTT and if something like that happens i hope the decision prevails for me for what i already represent in the weight division. We were talking about it today on the team.
MMA BRASIL: Talking about ADCC, what do you think of Dean Lister, for someone who has already passed trough Mark Kerr, do you think it will be an easy match?
RICARDO ARONA: I never think that any match is easy. In this level all fighters come well prepared and Dean Lister is a young guy, talented, with good stamina and strenght. I am sure it will be a much more active fight than with Kerr. But Dean trains Jiu Jitsu and that os my speciality. I am training hard to pass trough him.
MMA BRASIL: There has been some rumours over the internet foruns about a breakup on the BTT, Minotauros training for the GP and other things. There has been too much talk and no proofs and today Murilo Bustamante has sent an official statement for all websites saying that everything is going fine in the team. But we would like to hear your version of the facts. How is the mood on the team?
RICARDO ARONA: What happens is that sometimes people hear some things here and there inside the academy and take this outside. Then, things that were supposed to be dealed inside the team becomes big speculations. but the truth is that we are still one team. We have our problems like any other team, but we are always together trying to see what is best for the team. There is no such thing as a break and our problems we always discuss to make it better.
MMA BRASIL: Thanks a lot for the interview. Do you want to leave any message for your fans?
RICARDO ARONA: I would like to say that this will be a very tough year, lots of fights and i believe it will be one of the most important years in my career. I really hope that people keep watching and cheering and always sending good vibes. We need the support of the fans.
MMA BRASIL: And hopefully, to close a good year a match with Wanderlei would be perfect wouldnt it?
RICARDO ARONA: Sure. This fight has to happen this year. I have been talking about it for 3 years and he has no where to run. I hope this year none of us get hurt and we put an end to this story that in my opinion is one of the fights that fans in the whole world would like to see. Regards to all and i liked a lot the questions.