Will Ricardo Arona Return To Submission Grappling Competition In 2024?

Will Ricardo Arona Return To Submission Grappling Competition In 2024?

It’s been 15 years since Ricardo Arona last competed – defeating Marvin Eastman at the Bitetti Combate 4 event, back in 2009.
Since then, there has been nothing but rumors about the legendary fighter’s return to the mats.

However, as shared in an interview with TATAME, Fepa Lopes – the creator of the BJJ Stars promotion – hinted at the strong likelihood of Arona’s return.

Lopes visited Arona’s home in Rio de Janeiro in 2023 and discussed the potential for Arona to participate in a super fight at BJJ Stars:

I saw the wonderful beach where he lives and I saw his house which has tatami mats, fences, weight training, it’s really cool to know that he stays active, training other athletes and also keeping himself ready.

He’s the same physically, he’s still a monster.

Yes, we made a return plan.
That was the invitation, not just a fight, but for him to start participating in some more matches with BJJ Stars, and he was very interested.

I hope to be able to put this plan into action.

Iconic MMA coach Bebeo Duarte also shared insights with TATAME regarding Arona’s anticipated comeback:

Ricardo Arona is a very demanding person with himself, and if he doesn’t think he’s ready to participate in a fight like this, he won’t enter.

You have to give it time, when he’s ready, he’ll accept some of the challenges.
I don’t know if at ADCC, or at an event here in Brazil or in the United States, I don’t know.

But I think he has this enormous desire, but he is very demanding and doesn’t want to enter in a way that he doesn’t feel prepared for.