Joe Riggs

Riggs, Rodriguez Victorious in Weekend Action


Joe Riggs. Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com

Longtime veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs and former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez each picked up much needed wins this weekend at separate events.

Riggs submitted Miletich Fighting Systems product Matt Dempsey with a second-round rear naked choke at Rage in the Cage’s latest show at the Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona. It was the first time that Riggs has competed in the promotion since November of 2004. Riggs was slated to take on welterweight prospect Luke Stewart at Strikeforce’s “Melendez vs. Thomson” event last month but was denied licensure by the California State Athletic Comission after disclosing recent use of prescription drugs to state officials.

Rodriguez defeated fellow veteran Jonathan Ivey via unanimous decision at XP3 Promotions inaugural event at the University of Houston Saturday night. Also on the card was UFC and PRIDE veteran Mark Kerr, who lost to Ralph Kelly in the first round of their bout after suffering an undisclosed injury.

Shonie Carter was scheduled to compete in XP3’s main event against Shannon Ritch but was forced to pull out of the fight due to a lingering groin injury. Carter was replaced by Joe Vigil, whom Ritch submitted in the first round. Carter has now stated that he will attempt to fight Ritch again at XP3’s next scheduled event on October 18th in Houston.

Shopping With Joe “Diesel” Riggs

Joe Riggs has always been quite a character, in and out of the cage/ring. If you have 30 minutes to kill, I suggest you check out the above series of videos put together by MMANews.com. Ever wonder what it’d be like to go shopping with Riggs? Here’s your chance. While waiting for a prescription to be filled, Riggs talks about everything you can think of (pre-Affliction: Banned) including Edwin Dewees, Nick Diaz, Armando Garcia, a return to the UFC, his next two fights, and his inability to not look at boobs. Pretty entertaining and funny. The first video is above and the rest are after the jump.

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Joe Riggs Headlines August Rage in the Cage


Joe Riggs. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Former Rage in the Cage heavyweight and middleweight title holder Joe “Diesel” Riggs will make his return to the promotion next month, headlining a scheduled event on August 26th at the Toyota Center in Prescott, Arizona.

Riggs replaced fellow longtime veteran Edwin Dewees, who was slated to fight in the night’s main event, but was granted contractual relief by the organization to challenge former PRIDE standout Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at this weekend’s Affliction: Banned event. Riggs will take on Matt Dempsey, who has not fought professional since March of 2005 when he submitted Troy King at a Courage Fighting Championships event.

Meanwhile Riggs was recently slated to take on rising welterweight prospect Luke Stewart at Strikeforce’s “Melendez vs. Thomson” event last month but was denied licensure by the California State Athletic Comission after disclosing his recent use of prescription drugs to state officials, of which Riggs was previously addicted to earlier in his career. He has not fought since injuring his back against Cory Devela in February.

The show’s co-main event will pit Lyle Steffens against Sal Azuela in a RITC light heavyweight title eliminator. The winner of the bout is expected to take on reigning champion Matt Lucas at a yet-to-be-announced event before the end of the year.

Report: Riggs Replaces Carter at Strikeforce


Joe Riggs. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In his first fight since undergoing surgery to yet again repair his oft-injured back, former UFC welterweight title challenger Joe Riggs will replace longtime veteran Shonie Carter in a featured bout against rising prospect Luke Stewart at Strikeforce’s “Melendez vs. Thomson” show on June 27th.

Strikeforce VP Mike Afromowitz confirmed the change to the card with Sherdog.com.

Carter will be unable to participate after shattering a knuckle in his hand during a recent training session, likely putting his ability to pass a required physical examination under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission in doubt.

Riggs’ return to action will come four months after he suffered a scary back injury against Cory Devela at “Strikeforce at the Dome” in February. Riggs underwent successful surgery to repair nerves that were pinched by a bulging disc just days after the event. He will meet Stewart at a catch-weight of 178 lbs.

After winning five straight fights under the Strikeforce banner to start his professional career, Stewart suffered his first loss at the EliteXC and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le show in March, losing an unanimous decision to Tiki Ghosn.

The main event will feature reigning Strikeforce lightweight title holder Gilbert Melendez, who has yet to lose inside the promotion, defend his title against American Kickboxing Academy product Josh Thomson, who has won six straight fights, five of them with the organization.

Riggs-Gates Cancelled Again


Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

For the second time in four months, a scheduled bout between Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Joe Riggs and Mike Gates has been scrapped.

Riggs and Gates were slated to meet this Saturday at Phoenix Fighting Promotions “Street Justice” event in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but Riggs will be unable to make it to the event after learning that the Washington Department of Licensing for Professional Athletics declined to clear him due to insufficient evidence that he was medically fit to fight according to Sherdog.com.

Riggs and Gates were originally paired up for a King of the Cage event back in December but weather-related issues prevented Riggs from being able to make it to the event in time for the fight.

Saturday’s bout against Gates would have been Riggs’ first fight since re-injuring his surgically-repaired back against Cory Devela at “Strikeforce at the Dome” in February. Riggs underwent successful surgery to repair nerves that were pinched by a bulging disc just days after the event.

Gates, who most recently submitted Neil Berry with a guillotine choke at a Rumble in the Cage event in March, will now take on TKO Championship Fighting veteran T.J. Grant.

Riggs-Gates to Headline “Street Justice”


Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Joe Riggs will fight for the first time since re-injuring his surgically-repaired back when he takes on Mike Gates at Phoenix Fighting Promotions: Street Justice on April 26th at the Halifax Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The news comes from our friends at TKO Xtreme. The fight, which headlines a card featuring nine additional bouts, will be held at a catch-weight of 180 lbs.

Riggs and Gates were originally paired up for a King of the Cage event back in December but weather-related issues prevented Riggs from being able to make it to the event in time for the fight.

Riggs’ scheduled return will come just over two months since the longtime veteran suffered a scary back injury against Cory Devela at “Strikeforce at the Dome” in February. Riggs underwent successful surgery to repair nerves that were pinched by a bulging disc just days after the event.

Gates has already fought three times so far this year but has dropped two of those bouts. Gates submitted Neil Berry with a guillotine choke at a Rumble in the Cage event last weekend.

Santos Replaces Riggs Against Villasenor


Joey Villasenor and Riki Fukuda exchange punches at EliteXC: Uprising. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will replace an injured Joe Riggs against middleweight Joey Villasenor at the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which will take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

Former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will meet in an anticipated middleweight bout that will headline the card.

Strikeforce officially announced the bout earlier this afternoon.

Santos is also scheduled to go up against Makoto Takimoto at World Victory Road’s inaugural show titled “Sengoku” tomorrow in Japan. Santos’s availability to challenge Villasenor will obviously depend on whether or not he comes out of his fight against Takimoto relatively unscathed.

“I always look for the knockout,” Santos said in a press release sent out to the media today. “I think this will be a duel between his boxing and my Muay Thai techniques. Villasenor is an ideal opponent for me.”

Villasenor was slated to return to action at King of the Cage’s Warlords event last month but pulled out after being added to this card by EliteXC officials.

Since being knocked out by a flying knee courtesy of Robbie Lawler at PRIDE 32, Villasenor has gone on two out of his last three fights. A TKO loss to Murlio Rua at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni was sandwiched in between wins over David Loiseau and Riki Fukuda at separate EliteXC events last year.

“Like wine, I think I get better with age,” said Villasenor. “People should look for a more technically sound Joey Villasenor in 2008. This should be a great fight to kick off the year with.”

Riggs Has Surgery; Villasenor Fight in Doubt


Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Joe Riggs has successfully undergone surgery to repair nerve damage after re-injuring his surgically-repaired back in a middleweight contest against prospect Cory Devela at last weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Dome” event in Tacoma, Washington.

The news comes from a report by Josh Gross of Sherdog, who learned that Riggs underwent a procedure in which four scopes were used to freeze three separate nerves in his lower back that were pinched by a bulging disc, caused by a Devela judo throw during the bout.

Immediately tapping out after he hit the mat, it was obvious that Riggs was in extreme pain. Devela landed two right hands flush to a downed and submitting Riggs before the fight was halted by the referee.  A stretcher was called into the cage and Riggs was taken to nearby St. Joseph Medical Center where he remained overnight.

Riggs was also expected Riggs to go up against against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. However his participation at the show no looks to be very doubtful according to Riggs’ manager, Kev Pavia. Pavia noted that he will attempt to have Riggs rematch Devela when he returns.

“Make sure Devala doesn’t fight anyone else,” Riggs told Pavia in the report. “I don’t want him exposed before I smash him.”

Sapp, Riggs Suffer Brutal Losses in the Dome


From tkduffy22 on Flickr.

Bob Sapp’s return to his home state of Washington didn’t go so well. The former NFL lineman and K-1 star was stopped by fellow kickboxer Jan Nortje in brutal fashion, stunning the 7,089 in attendance at the Tacoma Dome for last night’s Strikeforce and Bodog Fight co-promoted event.

After cutting Sapp with a series of stiff left jabs in the opening moments of the fight, Nortje followed up with a barrage of punches while his opponent was up against the cage. Seconds later, Sapp was on the receiving end of one final left hook that sent him crumpling to the canvas and forced the referee to wave off the proceedings.

The win was Nortje’s first in mixed martial arts since Tadao Yasuda was forced to bow out of their December 2002 bout because of injury. After the fight, Nortje (2-5) expressed his desire to compete under the Strikeforce banner in the future.

“It wasn’t luck,” Nortje said. “I trained my ass off for this fight. I knew Sapp was one hell of a job to take on, but I did it. Thanks to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, I’m going to keep doing this. This feels nice. This feels good.“

A disappointed Sapp (9-3-1) revealed a potential hamstring injury that may have hampered his performance during a post-fight interview.

“My hamstring buckled and I wasn’t able to get back up,” Sapp said. “I tried to move around a lot but it wasn’t working. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it done today.”

After a brief exchange on the feet, Cory Devela put veteran Joe Riggs on his back for good just two minutes into their middleweight bout with a swift judo throw. Immediately tapping out after he hit the mat, it was obvious that Riggs was in extreme pain from what appeared to be an unconfirmed lower back injury.

Although Devela landed two right hands flush to a downed and submitting Riggs, it was evident that the injury was the main cause behind the former UFC welterweight title contender being unable to stand up. A stretcher was called into the cage and Riggs was taken to nearby St. Joseph Medical Center where he remained overnight before being released earlier this morning.

Devela, now 8-1, noted that he hoped Riggs (27-10) would fully recover from the injury after the fight.

After a few minutes, I knew that I probably shouldn’t be standing with him,” Devela said. “He’s a hard-hitting guy and I had a better chance of tying up with him and beating him up that way. I hate to see when a fighter gets hurt like that so I hope he’s alright and comes back hard.”

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Strikeforce at the Dome Weigh-In Results


Photo courtesy of FEG.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s Strikeforce at the Dome show are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

The event feature a super heavyweight showdown between former NFL lineman and K-1 star Bob “The Beast” Sapp and Jan Nortje. Former UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith will take on kickboxer Rick Roufus, who will be making his mixed martial arts debut.

The only minor hitch during the festivities involved Steve Berger, who needed an extra two hours to make the welterweight limit.

Bob Sapp (356 lbs) vs Jan Nortje (333 lbs)
Joe Riggs (184) lbs vs Cory Devela (184 lbs)
Maurice Smith (235 lbs) vs Rick Roufus (207 lbs)
Steve Berger (172 lbs) vs Eddy Ellis (168 lbs)
Jorge Masvidal (159 lbs) vs Ryan Healy (158 lbs)
Eric Clark (224 lbs) vs Josh Bennett (259 lbs)
Ray Perales (170 lbs) vs Lyle Beerbohm (168 lbs)
Matt Kovacs (244 lbs) vs Mike Hayes (230 lbs)
Scott Shaffer (144 lbs) vs Zach Skinner (143 lbs)
Dave Corshane (169 lbs) vs Nathan Coy (170 lbs)

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