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Ricardo Arona Says He Is Headed to UFC

Ricardo Arona could be making his long-awaited debut for the UFC.

"I can't talk about this project right now, but there's a connection between me and the UFC now, something concrete that I didn't have before," Arona is quoted as saying to "My return will be in the end of the year and will be in the UFC."

Arona fought under the PRIDE umbrella exclusively from 2001 through 2007 and was considered one of the top light heavyweights in the world from 2001 to 2005. Arona holds wins over Alistair Overeem, Wanderlei Silva, Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson and more. In 2005, he ran through his opponents in the PRIDE Grand Prix before losing in the finals to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

Last September, Arona fought for the first time in his career outside of Japan, winning a unanimous decision against Marvin Eastman at Bitetti Combat 4 in Brazil.

Even for those that aren't familiar with Arona, he's probably been seen before through numerous highlight reels and video packages -- as the recipient of a powerbomb (video above) from Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

According to TATAME, Arona suffered a knee injury against Eastman and is currently going through physical therapy and hopes to return to action by September or October.
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