The debut card for the upcoming Affliction promotion is starting to unveil itself before the promotion has even been officially announced. Josh Barnett, on MMAWeekly Radio on Monday night, revealed that he will return to U.S. soil to face Pedro Rizzo in a heavyweight rematch from a fight the two had in 2001.
Barnett said the fight with Rizzo was "pretty much" a done deal and he's looking forward to the opportunity to fight on the debut Affliction card.
"I said after he knocked me out with one of those really nice, well put together Pedro Rizzo right hands, I stood right there for the challenge and said you know what, I'm going to come back here, I'm going to fight him again and next time I'm knocking his ass out," said Barnett about the match-up with Rizzo. "So I've got to make good on my promises and I've got to stick to my word."
The perennial Top 10 heavyweight is currently training for a May 18 showdown with former training partner Jeff Monson for World Victory Road's Sengoku II event in Japan.
After that bout, Barnett will return home to prepare for the rematch with Rizzo. He expects big things out of the card, which will feature a main event of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia.
"As much as I love my buddy Fedor, it's going to suck for him because I'm stealing the show," Barnett stated about his bout on the same card.
Matt Lindland is also expected to fight on the debut Affliction card, but as of yet no opponent has been named or speculated for his bout.