Ricardo Arona hasn’t been seen since 2009 in his ‘comeback fight’ against Marvin Eastman. Technically, it was a comeback fight, he just didn’t stay back. Apparently the call of the ocean and a surfboard underneath his feet is too hard to pass up for the grinding lifestyle of a professional fighter, but Arona’s memory will forever stay alive in one of the most popular MMA highlights of all time — the Rampage powerbomb.
I guess this could technically count as a Blast to the Past, but I’ve decided to not use that category for my own mysterious reasons. Maybe in honor of Ricardo, who is the most mysterious of them all. The dude pretty much quit his career just when he was coming into his own. Arona is a candidate for the greatest fighter we’ve ever forgotten, as he lives on almost completely through this slam, which is kind of a shame. He started his career up until this fight against rampage at 8-1, with his sole loss to Fedor, and by nabbing some impressive wins over Dan Henderson, Jeremy Horn X2, Guy Mezger and Ninja Rua, then this happened. Even his middleweight Grand Prix tournament run in which he beat Wanderlei Silva is a forgotten feat compared to this.
Rampage Jackson hopped on Sherdog Radio this week to talk about his career and future, but they took a blast to the past and Rampage told the cool story behind the infamous powerbomb:
“He was giving me those mean leg kicks, if Arona would have kicked me in the leg one more time, I probably would have showed the pain and went down. … Out of all the fights I’ve ever been in, even the K-1 fight, Arona had the hardest kicks I ever felt in my life. He was kicking me right in the same spot over and over.” “He dislocated my jaw, and I went down to recover and to block the heel kicks and he told the referee I was knocked out, that pissed me off.”
“I just don’t think it’s fair if I lose my temper because honestly, I probably could have killed Arona if his head would have landed wrong, or I could have broke his neck, and that would have been on my conscience for the rest of my life, thank God it only knocked him out and he was OK. That was the only time I ever lost my temper. I just hope I never lose my temper in a fight again.”
Some say it was a headbutt that put out Arona. I can’t really tell. I’m just happy the slam happened because it was the definition of rawesome.