Ricardo Arona defeated Wanderlei Silva in this year's Middleweight Grand Prix. Although Arona lost to Shogun in the Final Round, he believes that it was simply because of an "accident" Arona, not one to accept a loss, said that once he has beaten Silva on New Year's Eve and taken revenge on Shogun, he would accept Sakuraba's request for a rematch.
Pride Fighting Championships:
You were the unfortunate runner-up in the Middleweight Grand Prix. How do you feel when you look back on that match?
Of course, beating Silva has been a desire of mine for a long time so I am satisfied with that. However, that would have been a perfect night if I had become the Champion. I feel unhappy because I wasn't able to do that.
What was your strategy against Silva and what was the biggest factor in your win?
It was vital to just keep moving. If you stop, even for a little, you give Wanderlei a chance. Wanderlei has become good at defending against takedowns so it was crucial to keep moving around and striking, looking for a chance to take him down.
So, you weren't really thinking about trying to submit him?
Of course, I think of him as my rival but the reason I lost against him in the Grand Prix finals was just bad luck. I hit my head against the mat 1-minute after the fight began, Shogun fell on top of me and my head was sandwiched. I lost control of the fight because of bad luck. That is the entire reason.
I'm practicing boxing and wrestling but I am a jujitsu fighter. My heart is always in jujitsu and I don't want to forget that. I want to train harder until my next fight and become a fighter than can win by submission.
Thank you for always supporting me. I love fighting in front of you and I always fight for you. I want to keep fighting until I die. I want to beat Wanderlei again on New Year's Eve and then beat Shogun to prove that I am the true Champion.