In the 19 months that followed, as Arona retreated to the shadows, questions have swirled about the Brazilian’s future in the sport. Still only 30, he has focused his energies on building a training center in his homeland while keeping an eye on the MMA scene.
“I received a lot of proposals from Canadian, American and Japanese promotions,” Arona told Sherdog.com in an exclusive video interview. “I continue receiving a lot of proposals, but my main goal now is to build my own training center and then sign a contract when I’m sure that my project is being accomplished.”
With the gym nearing completion, it seems only a matter of time before he injects himself back into the light heavyweight ranks. Considering the victories he holds against reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, former EliteXC middleweight titleholder Murilo “Ninja” Rua and two-time Olympian Dan Henderson, Arona would be a welcomed addition to any promotion’s roster.
“I might finish [the gym] by the end of the year and then come back to fight,” he said. “I want to train near my home. It’s the most important thing for a fighter -- to train and rest at familiar places and eat well at the right time.”" />