Having fought Tank Abbott in the UFC’s Ultimate Brazil in October of 1998, Pedro Rizzo projects a façade of the grizzled veteran working through the twilight of his career. But just 33 years old, Rizzo has no immediate plans to hang up his gloves any time soon.
“Everybody thinks I’m old, but I’m 33 years old. I started very young. Everybody is watching me for a long time. I started very young in UFC,” stated a smiling Rizzo. “You see Randy [Couture], he just got the UFC belt. He’s 44. When I see Randy, I want to fight ten more years.”
Ten more years of fighting could very well be the future of Pedro Rizzo, but tonight, the present issues a stiff challenge for the long-time Marco Ruas protégé. At the third Art of War event, which takes place tonight in Dallas, Rizzo attempts to defend his International Fighters Association World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Monson.
Monson, a member of American Top Team, is one of the most highly regarded grapplers in the world, giving this bout a throwback to the days when the grappler vs. striker theme was commonplace.
Rizzo is well aware of Monson’s background; many of his friends in his home country of Brazil have competed against Monson and helped prepare him for the task.
“I know Jeff for a long time, he already fought a bunch of Brazilian grapplers. I’ve got a lot of friends that fought him, so I train with everybody and try to get in my best shape for this fight.”
The world will find out just how prepared Rizzo and Monson both are when they step into the cage.
Art of War 3 takes place live at the American Airlines Center in Dallas tonight. The event will be available on inDemand pay-per-view in the United States and Bell Express Vu in Canada.