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Ricardo Arona, Bellator disagree on alleged contract offer

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Ricardo Arona wants to fight again, but it’s not the right time yet.

"The Brazilian Tiger", who has fought only once since leaving PRIDE in 2007, will undergo another knee surgery this year, and that’s the reason why he allegedly declined an offer from Bellator.

"I have the desire to fight," Arona said in an interview to radio show No Mundo da Luta. "The offer (from Bellator) is good, but I can’t say an exact date (for my return) or anything. I have to be 100 percent recovered first. When I’m ready, I will see what’s the best way to return, if it’s competing in jiu-jitsu, submission or MMA."

Arona, the 2005 Pride middleweight GP runner-up, holds wins over the likes of Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba and Wanderlei Silva, and he would welcome a few rematches.

"I think about Quinton Jackson, other guys from that time that I fought, and I would fight any of them again, but I can’t do it now," he said. "I said dates (for my return) many times, but I realized that’s not how it works. We have a plan, but things change."

However, turns out that Bellator didn't offer Arona a contract. According to a Bellator official, "no offer was ever made, no dialogue was had."

Back in October, Arona told that fighting in the UFC is what he really wants.

"UFC is the goal of every fighter, and that’s my goal," he said. "I don’t know if I’ll need one or two more fights to get there, but I’m not worried. UFC is the goal, and I will be ready to get there. The only chance I won’t fight again is if my body can’t do it anymore. But I had a knee surgery before and healed well, so I believe my other knee will be 100 percent. I know time flies, but I also believe in my experience. Everything will be alright."