Another legend has finally hung up the gloves as 41-year-old Pedro Rizzo (20-11) called it quits on a near 19 year career last night in Brazil.
It was a fitting end for the veteran as he went out winning with what he is known best for – leg kicks. His swinging tree trunk-like legs were too much for opponent Andrew Flores and when the final bell for round one rang he said he’d had enough.
Rizzo’s last win came in 2010 when he beat Ken Shamrock in similar fashion. After that he lost back to back fights to Fedor and Satoshi Ishii, the latter coming in 2013.
The Brazilian legend made his debut in 1996 and after winning his first five fights he was snapped up by the UFC. His debut here came in 1998 where he would beat ‘Tank’ Abbott via KO. Three more wins came, including one over Mark Coleman, before he would challenge Kevin Randleman for the UFC title. The American was too much for Rizzo as he lost a decision.
Back to back legit wins over Dan Severn and Josh Barnett put him back into title contention and he would fight Randy Couture twice for the UFC heavyweight title in two wars. The first he lost by decision, in what was 2001’s fight of the year, and month’s later in an immediate rematch he would lose by TKO in the third round.
After this he would go 3-2 in the UFC before joining Pride in Japan followed by various organisations around the world including Affliction, M-1, and IGF. He never recreated the success he saw in the early part of his career but nonetheless he remained fairly competitive against some of the sports biggest names.