Rizzo: “Leaving the UFC was the biggest mistake of my career”

Rizzo com mestre Yoshizo Machida na academia do karateca em Belém. Foto: Marcelo Dunlop.

Pedro Augusto Rizzo (19w, 9l) is excited about his upcoming fight with Tim Sylvia (27w, 6l), which should take place in early 2011. There are a number of reasons. First, because the fight was postponed by War on the Mainland’s promoters twice. Second, because of the challenge of facing a striker of the caliber of Tim Sylvia, a former UFC champion now thirty-four years of age. The third reason he, himself, explains:

“Dana White mentioned that the winner should get another chance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship,” said Pedro Rizzo, 36, in a laid back conversation with, in the North Brazilian city of Belém, where he is training with Glover Teixeira, Lyoto and family until November 6.

“Another good reason for me to do a good job of preparing, if just because Tim is two meters tall and has great reach, and that means I have to change my way of fighting. I can’t stand still, I’ll have to move around the whole time,” reflected the Marco Ruas student.

“As the date hasn’t been set, it’s just a verbal agreement, so I’m getting back to light training. But I want to have a good performance. Who knows? Maybe I’ll manage a return to the UFC. I feel really comfortable fighting in that Octagon. I feel leaving there was the biggest mistake of my career, my great regret,” he said.

“I left on my own volition (end of 2003), but at that time I felt stagnant and the big heavyweight challenges were in Japan. I always went after the toughest matches, so I had to face the guys in Pride. What to do? It didn’t work out. But today, with Cain Velasquez as champion, the UFC is really well represented. I feel Cain could even take out Fedor Emelianenko,” he said in assessment.

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