Wednesday, March 14, 2007


By Mick Hammond

Sometimes in life people need to take steps backwards before they can truly move forward in their lives. Such has been the case for Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo in recent history.

After being one of the most dominant strikers in the heavyweight division, Rizzo hit hard times, culminating in the past two years, which saw his activity level shrink, and worse, two embarrassing losses in the PRIDE organization.

But with those steps backward done, it appears as if Pedro is ready to begin taking the steps forward needed to recapture past glory, as he returned to MMA action for the first time in a year this past Saturday in Dallas, Texas, defeating fellow UFC alum Justin Eilers via Unanimous Decision at The Art of War 1.

“It was very good for me,” Rizzo said to MMAWeekly of returning to action for the first time since February 2006. “I was more than a year out of the ring, so for me it was very important to try to come back into the ring with a fight that was good, a fight that was hard.”

Pedro further commented, “I’m pretty happy with the victory, with the win and I hope I can get more fights this year and get back to the top.”

Perhaps in a sign of rejuvenation, Rizzo was very aggressive for most of the fight, and despite an injury that forced him to change tactics; he was rewarded for his assertiveness with the unanimous decision.

“I think it was a good fight,” commented Pedro. “In the first round I was just thinking about boxing and trying to knock him down. When we went to the ground, all fighters have a favorite side, and I went to my bad side, but it was [overall] good.”

“The second round went good, but at the end of the round I broke my hand. So in the third round I had to take him down and keep the fight on the ground because I couldn’t punch anymore [with my left hand],” continued Rizzo.

Pedro explained the moment the injury happened and how he compensated to ultimately get the win, “At the end of the second round I gave a high kick and then a left hook and that’s when I broke my hand. So I couldn’t punch [with that hand] anymore, so in the third round I just used elbows and the right punch.”

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