Fresh off their respective losses at Affliction: Banned, Ben Rothwell and Pedro Rizzo will square off at the next Affliction event in Las Vegas on October 11, according to MMA Mania. If true, this goes against Monte Cox’s claim that Rothwell would sit this one out. It would also add another interesting match-up to a fight card that’s already brimming with them.
Rothwell-Rizzo is a good match for finding out exactly where both these guys stand in their careers. A Rothwell victory would confirm the sneaking suspicion that he should be taken seriously in the heavyweight division, while a loss to Rizzo would likely mean his removal from the top ten until further notice.
For Rizzo, a win means he can make a compelling case to keep fighting and a loss means he can’t. As great as “The Rock” was in his time and as deserving as he is of a spot among MMA’s forefathers, he can’t hang around forever. A knockout loss to Josh Barnett is nothing to be ashamed of, nor would a loss to Rothwell necessarily be a career-ender. But at Rizzo’s age (34), it would hardly be encouraging.
- In slightly related news, fellow ex-IFL fighter and Quad Cities Silverbacks team member Bart Palaszewski has signed with Zuffa to compete in the WEC. “Bartimus” (laziest nickname ever?) reportedly signed a six-fight deal and plans to be ready for action in September.