We're a long way removed from Ricardo Arona's time near the top of the 205 pound division. After becoming the first light heavyweight to beat Wanderlei Silva in over five years at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, Arona would go on to lose three of his next four bouts (including his fight with Mauricio Rua later that evening) before taking two years off.
Arona returned to action in 2009, grinding out a win over UFC veteran Marvin Eastman at Bitetti Combat 4.
For years now fans have wondered if Arona would return to fighting on the big stage. Arona recently told Globo that he got a major offer this year which he turned down. Cage Potato has the translation:
"I went back to prepare myself physically and to finish building a training center in my house in Niterói. It's pretty big and full. I want to return early next year. First I want to be ready to compete in anything, God willing," Arona explains. "My goal is to do that, no doubt. I received an invitation from Strikeforce and several national events, but did not close anything. I'm hoping to be ready to return."
At only 33, Arona is still young enough that he may be able make a little noise if he signs with a major promotion.
Either that, or he'll remain one of the great "what if?" cases in MMA history.