Former Affliction hired help Pedro Rizzo (16-8) and Gilbert Yvel (35-13-1) have been scheduled to face off on the main card of Prize Fight Promotions "Unarmed Combat" scheduled for the Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., on June 27 according to MMAWeekly.
The 34-year-old Rizzo, a four-time Brazilian Muay Thai champion, may be feeling a sense of urgency. "The Rock" still garners respect from his ability to hit like a wrecking ball, but he’s not been able to demonstrate the kind of striking that made him famous earlier in his career.
His knockout loss to Josh Barnett at Affliction "Banned" last July probably hasn’t helped matters, but it looks like he’ll get another chance to turn things around against Yvel.
From a career standpoint, it could be now or never -- against a fighter who has 30 (T)KO wins to his credit.
Yvel was roughed up at Affliction: "Day of Reckoning" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., by former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (24-5) on January 24.
The Dutch Muay Thai specialist had a difficult time getting licensed to fight in the United States because of a history of "dirty" behavior inside the ring — everything from assaulting referees to eye gouging to biting opponents.
In fact, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) rejected his application to compete against Sergei Kharitonov at PRIDE 33 in Las Vegas as recently as February 2007.
The California State Athletic Commission eventually pushed his license through, but suffice it to say "The Hurricane" was under the microscope when he faced Barnett.
Prior to the beating he took against "The Babyface Assassin", Yvel was enjoying a seven-fight win streak, dating back to mid 2006. His last win was a stoppage over Alexander Timonov via technical knockout (punches) in just 22 seconds at M-1 Challenge 9.
"Unarmed Combat" features a main event between colossal heavyweights Bob "The Beast" Sapp and former WWE headliner Bobby "The Dominator" Lashley. Affliction promoter Tom Atencio as well as UFC veteran Din Thomas are expected to appear in action as well.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this developing fight card.