A Brazilian rivalry dating back to 2005 may be nearing it’s end in the near future, at least according to one of the feud participants.
Wanderlei Silva and Ricardo Arona are age old enemies who first met up at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 in the semi-final of PRIDE’s middleweight grand prix. Arona surprised many when he handed the dominant middleweight champion his first defeat in over five years at the weight class by controlling Silva from the top position for the majority of the contest en route to a decision victory. Arona yelled in the face of the PRIDE champion from the top position at the bout’s conclusion to add insult to injury, and add fuel to the fire of the rivalry.
Although Silva was handed the defeat from Arona in the grand prix, because the bout was part of the tournament format it did not result in the title exchanging hands.
The two met up for once again, this time for the championship, at PRIDE Shockwave 2005. This match-up between the pair was much more closely contested and saw Silva’s hand being raised as he retained his PRIDE middleweight championship with a hard fought split decision.
That was then, this is now according to Wanderlei.
“My gym’s door are open to Paulo Filho and Ricardo Arona”, The Axe Murderer was recently quoted as saying in an interview with Tatame.
Time heals everything and the grudge between the fellow Brazilians is a thing of the past in Silva’s eyes.
“Everybody is professional,” continued Silva. “I had my rivalry with Arona, but nothing really happened, it’s passed and gave us and the fans great episodes of MMA rivalry… If they actually come here, I put them to fight tomorrow. Who doesn’t want an Arona and Paulo?”