MMA: Can Pedro Rizzo Beat Josh Barnett?...Again

Mike BarrazaCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2008

Pedro Rizzo is a true veteran in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. A former professional kickboxer with a record of 30-0-1 with 30 knockouts and four Brazilian Muay Thai championships to his name, Rizzo made his professional MMA debut in October of 1996 and has since then gone 16-7-0. Known for his heavy leg kicks and counter-punching, Rizzo is also familiar on the ground from training with legendary MMA fighter Marco Ruas. During his stint in the UFC Pedro defeated Mark Coleman, Tra Telligman(twice), Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, Dan Severn, Andrei Arlovski, Ricco Rodriguez, and the man he will be facing tomorrow night, Josh Barnett.

Pedro was also involved in two classic wars with Randy Couture that both ended in defeat for Rizzo, although many believe that he won the first fight. His first fight with Barnett however, ended with a clear winner when Rizzo knocked out the "Babyface Assassin" in the second round. Pedro also had a brief career in pride where he suffered losses to Sergei Kharitonov and the last man to beat him, Roman Zentsov. Since those two defeats he has racked up wins against Justin Eilers and Jeff Monson.

At only 34, Pedro Rizzo still has some fight in him but he'll need all that he can muster on Saturday when he faces the man that many consider to be the third best heavyweight in the world.

Josh Barnett is a former UFC Heavyweight champion, a title that was later stripped due to positive steroid testing, and Pancrase Open Weight Grand Prix winner with a record of 22-5-0. He holds notable wins over Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Gan McGee, Semmy Schilt(twice), Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Hunt, Hidehiko Yoshida, Jeff Monson, and current UFC Interim Heavyweight champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria. An avid proponent of Catch Wrestling, Josh is one of the best ground technicians in the world with most of his wins coming by way of submission. His fight with Pedro Rizzo marks the first and only time he's ever been knocked out in a fight and tomorrow he's going to try to return the favor.

In this fight Pedro definitely has the advantage standing, which is where he needs to keep this fight if he wants to win. Barnett will probably exchange for a little bit and then go for a take down en route to a quick submission. Barnett has grown a lot since they're last fight, but Pedro still has that knockout power in his hands. We'll just have to wait and see who comes out on top tomorrow at Affliction Banned: Fedor vs. Sylvia.