Former UFC Champ Ricco Rodriguez Faces Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 48

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez

Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez

Bellator Fighting Championships on Saturday announced that Ricco Rodriguez will face Seth Petruzelli at its Aug. 20 event, Bellator 48, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

“I’m really excited about being able to return to the Mohegan Sun,” Rodriguez said. “The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about the Mohegan Sun is Randy Couture, and winning a heavyweight championship. I can’t wait to make my return.”

Rodriguez defeated Couture for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 39.

A submission specialist with knockout power, Rodriguez enters the fight riding an 11-fight win streak, including a unanimous decision over UFC veteran James McSweeney in his last fight earlier this year. A Former Abu Dhabi Combat Club Absolute Division Champion with over 50 professional fights under his belt, Rodriguez is ready for anything Petruzelli can throw at him.

“This fight’s going to end by KO, TKO, or submission,” said Rodriguez. “There’s no other way I see it ending. I want to finish Seth Petruzelli to let everyone know that I’m back, and I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

No stranger to MMA fans, Seth “Silverback” Petruzelli became a household name after knocking out Internet phenom Kimbo Slice in just 14 seconds in 2008. Holding a 3rd degree black belt in Shitō-ryū Karate and brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the knockout artist will be looking to build off his April victory over David Mewborn.

I’m coming out there to put Ricco Rodriguez flat on his ass and punch my ticket to the next Bellator Tournament while I’m at it,” said a confident Petruzelli.

“Ricco’s riding an 11-fight win streak and looking to re-establish himself as a dominant force in the sport and Seth brings excitement every time he steps into the cage,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Both of these guys are talented and charismatic heavyweights who have a tremendous connection to MMA fans around the world. When we discovered there was an opportunity to make this fight a reality, it was a no-brainer.”

Bellator 48 will also host the Featherweight Summer Series Finals, along with additional fights to be announced shortly. Bellator 48 will be the promotion’s fifth trip to Mohegan Sun and will air live on MTV2 at 9 p.m. EST on Aug. 20.