Up close in the cage with Pedro Rizzo

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Pedro Rizzo, pictured facing Jeff Monson in Brazil's Maracanãzinho gymnasium, is looking for his fourth MMA win in a row. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

Pedro Rizzo, pictured facing Jeff Monson in Brazil's Maracanãzinho gymnasium, is looking for his fourth MMA win in a row. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

A legendary fighter from the days when MMA was still called vale-tudo, Rio de Janeiro native Pedro Rizzo, 37, is readying his guns for his next battle, and GRACIEMAG.com tagged along to check out his training.

Twice a challenger to the UFC heavyweight throne, “The Rock” will face a veteran counterpart of his come March 24, when he takes on Valentijn Overeem at Oktagon, an Italian event to take place in the city of Milan. Rizzo enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak.

PEDRO RIZZO AND 16-TO-1 MMA TRAINING

Now healed up after undergoing surgery to correct a torn triceps on his left arm, the knockout artist has been working on his Thai boxing with Boxe Thai Belém coach Fábio Augustin. “I met Fábio in Belém do Pará when I went there with Glover to help out Lyoto Machida, and he held the mitts for me. He’s a high quality coach and can only be of benefit to me in training. What not too many people know is that Pará is right next to Surinam, an old Dutch colony and the place where Ernesto Hoost and Remy Bonjasky, two former K-1 champions, are from. That’s another reason why the level of the fighters in Belém is so high.”

Join us in the cage at the Manguinhos training center, and watch Rizzo up close as he whacks the mitts for 16 rounds of one minute of action to one minute of rest.

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