Joe Riggs weighs-in for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz has announced that Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Eddy Ellis will now compete at the upcoming “Strikeforce at the Dome” event later this month as replacement opponents.
The show, which features a main event between former NFL lineman and popular Japanese fighter Bob “The Beast” Sapp going up against K-1 kickboxing star and undefeated professional boxer Jan “The Giant” Nortje, will take place on February 23rd at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.
Riggs will replace Cedric Marks, who was forced to pull out of his bout against Cory Devela after suffering a should injury during a recent training session. Riggs was expected to return to action in a potential bout against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
However our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting that Riggs will compete at both shows.
“Joe stepped in to fight Cory, but he will still be fighting Joey next month,” Riggs’ manager Ken Pavia told them.
Ellis will be taking the place of Duane “Bang” Ludwig who has opted to sign on to face former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku” event instead of facing welterweight Steve Berger, whom Ellis will now take on.
The event will feature a total of ten bouts. The BodogFight-sponsored event will also be televised on HDNet.
Joe Riggs grapples with Kendall Grove at Rumble on the Rock 5. Photo courtesy of JoeRiggs.tv
Joe “Diesel” Riggs is expected to return to action in a potential bout against Joey Villasenor at Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint event on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, which is headlined by an anticipated middleweight contest between former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and decorated Sanshou kickboxer Cung Le.
The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who were recently informed of the fight by Villasenor’s camp.
Like many other notable fighters, Riggs was recently scheduled to compete at World Cagefighting Organization’s “The Return” last Saturday but the event, which was scheduled to take place last Saturday at the San Diego Sports Arena, was shut down by the California State Athletic Commission due to insufficent funds gathered by the promoters of the show.
The Phoenix native last fought at Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event in September where he knocked out fellow middleweight Eugene Jackson.
MMA on Tap recently reported that Villasenor would return to action at King of the Cage’s Warlords on February 9th at the Ute Mountain Hotel and Resort in Towaoc, Colorado. No word as of yet in terms of whether or not Villasenor’s fight against Riggs will affect his participation on that card.
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.
The World Cagefighting Organization headed by Bruce Bellocchi has teamed with Valor Fighting, Xcess Fighting and Primal MMA to produce one of the greatest MMA cards seen in years! Heading the lineup is Renato “Babalu” Sobral as he makes his long awaited stateside return since his UFC departure. Babalu will take on veteran Lion’s Den fighter, Vernon “Tiger” White.
The star studded undercard features two former UFC Heavyweight Champions. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mark “The Smashing Machine” Kerr’s return to the cage as he continues his comeback against K1 legend, Rick Roufus who is making his MMA debut. Then the bad blood boils over as former UFC Heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguiz finally meets Mike Kyle.
Also in action is Joe “Diesel” Riggs as he takes on Gracie Barra fighter Gustavo “Ximu” Machado. Wesley “Cabbage” Correia returns taking on veteran Jimmy “The Titan” Ambriz. Tiki Ghosn battles it out against Team Quest’s Dave Gardner. UFC Veteran’s, David “The Crow” Loiseau and Drew Fickett will also see action as will Antonio McKee.
“My goal is to compete with the big boys. I think you can see by the card we have put together that we are making a statement. The fans want great fights. We’re giving it to them” - Bruce Bellocchi, of The WCO.
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Wesley Correia vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Tiki Ghosn vs. Dave Gardner
David Loiseau vs. TBA
Drew Fickett vs. TBA
Antonio McKee vs. TBA
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated.
- Check back later this morning for an extensive interview with MMA veteran Joe Camacho…
- The UFC has officially announced three more bouts for UFC 80: Rapid Fire in January, including Jason Lambert’s return to the Octagon against Wilson Gouveia.
The two were originally slated to fight at UFC 76 but Gouveia was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a broken nose during training.
- K-1 Hero’s veteran Andre Dida has revealed that he will be leaving Chute Boxe to MMA Weekly:
“My brother (Mauricio ‘Veio’) lives in Canada and he has some contacts and some of his contacts made me an offer to teach mixed martial arts and Muay Thai in Canada,” said Dida. “It’s a very good offer and I cannot deny an opportunity like that. I have talked with Master Rafael Cordeiro and I’ve never seen him so sad with anything. He was disappointed with the news. I consider him as a father, but I have to leave.”
- Gray Maynard will take on Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12 according to MMA Junkie.
Maynard was originally supposed to fight Matt Grice but Grice opted to decline the fight because of police training requirements. (You can read Grice’s entire explanation in the comments portion of MMA Junkie’s post.)
- Joe Riggs will take on Mike Gates at KOTC: Avalanche on December 15th at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada according to The Fight Network.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Alexander Crispim has tested positive for Desoxymethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid, following post-fight testing for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Crispm has been suspended for one year and fined $2,500.
News and Notes
- The Fight Network is reporting that Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will face Mike Rourke in his promotional debut at EliteXC: Renegade on Nov. 10 at the America Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
- Randy Couture’s agent spoke with The Fight Network yesterday shooting down rumors about Couture earning between $3.25 and $3.75 million per fight.
“Based on Randy’s contract, $3.25 to $3.75 million is not even in the ballpark,” Walker said. “It’s beyond exaggerated. He’d never make that. I know what he’s been paid; I’ve seen the pay-per-view numbers. The numbers that are being thrown around are not accurate. Whoever gave that information does not have their facts straight.”
- The Fight Network is also reporting that B.J. Penn, the UFC’s current number one contender for the lightweight title may not face either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson until early February.
- So is Joe Riggs in or out of the Strikeforce middleweight tournament?
Loretta Hunt says that he’s out:
Joe Riggs will not be one of the four contestants to compete in California’s first regulated four-man tournament scheduled for Nov. 16’s Strikeforce “Four Man Enter, One Man Survives” event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Riggs declined the slot, however, and will seek a single fight on the card instead.
“It’s a timing thing,” said Riggs’ manager Scott Lewis. “He just fought two weeks ago and he doesn’t want to step into the cage two times in one night. We’re speaking with Scott Coker [Strikeforce’s promoter] to see if we can get him a single fight that night. He loves working with Strikeforce and is looking to get on that card.”
However Sam Caplan reports that Riggs is still undecided:
When contacted by ProElite.com, Riggs did confirm that his status for the tournament is currently uncertain but did not rule out the possibility of competing in it.
According to Riggs, his former agent, Ken Pavia, committed him to the tournament without receiving proper consent. Riggs now has new representation and is evaluating the opportunity. He indicated that he could ready to make a decision on whether he will compete in the next several days.
- Be sure to check out our newest feature ‘Break It Down’ where John and I provide our thoughts and predictions on every fight set to take place Saturday night at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
- Don’t forget to cast your vote on our latest edition of ‘Rock the Vote’.
- UFC veteran Elvis Sinosic will replace Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at Cage Rage 24. Sinosic will be stepping up to face British fighter Paul Cahoon.
- Adam Smith will appeal his positive tests for steroids, marijuana, and cocaine with the CSAC.
- Eddie Alvarez has told Sam Caplan that he’s been informed to prepare for a possible rematch with Nick Thompson in December.
Sherdog: In Enemy Territory
Sherdog: Silva-Franklin II: Unlike Any Other
MMAWeekly: UFC Champ Arrives in Cincy
The Cincinnati Enquirer: Fighters, fans get their MMA fix in Cincy
Web Devil: Pankration gives Sun Devils shot at MMA world
FCFighter Radio: Bart Palaszewski and Sean Salmon
A lot of news to report so I’ve decided to throw up a Sunday edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Pancrase has been forced to cancel it’s championship main event for this morning’s 2007 Rising Tour show after former heavyweight King of Pancrase Kestutis “Tiger” Arbocius pulled a no-show. His scheduled opponent, current Heavyweight King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva, has been removed from the card and will defend his title at a later date.
Officials from Sherdog have stated that varying reports reveal that no one really knows where Arbocius is right now:
Initial reports from Japanese media, which attributed information to Arbocius’ management, suggested that the 32-year-old Lithuanian* may have had difficulty with local police.
A Pancrase official disputed that report, telling Sherdog.com via e-mail, “Nobody knows where he is, even his manager. Pancrase is trying to keep in touch with him.”
Yuki Kondo’s bout against Yuji Sakuragi will now serve as the main event for the show.
- Shooto has announced five more bouts for it’s Back to our Roots 6 card, set for November 8th at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo:
Shinichi Kojima vs Eduardo Dantas
Megumi Fujii vs Kyoko Takabayashi
Rambaa Somdet vs Masaaki Sugawara
Masashi Yozen vs Leandro Silva
Hayate Usui vs Shintaro Ishiwatari
- In a recent interview with ADCC News, Jake Shields stated that he is closer to signing with the UFC than EliteXC right now:
“I want to go out there and fight the best. I’m really looking at UFC over Elite because that is where a lot of top guys are. In the next few weeks I’ll probably make my decision on where I’m going to be signing. I’m sure we’re going to talk to them in the next week before we sign anything with Elite. I’m ready to get in there with the top guys. With the Rumble on the Rock tournament and EliteXC and my last four or five fights have been top come and have been fast, easy fights. I think it definitely shows I belong there.”
- The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting is currently in contract talks with Vitor Belfort, Ricardo Arona, and John Alessio:
The Canadian fight club has been on a big-name signing binge of late.
Pride’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC veterans Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Joe Riggs have signed on. Negotiations are ongoing with former UFC heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, Pride vet Ricardo Arona and Canadian John Alessio.
“We are the only Canadian promotion that is bringing in huge international names,” says Crawford. “We remain committed to promoting local talent, but I believe Canadians are educated in the sport and want to see the world’s best.”
- American Top Team has announced that Seth Petruzelli has joined the ranks of the Florida-based training team:
Seth has been involved in the MMA scene for awhile and decided to join ATT to help further his career while preparing and train for his fights. When not preparing for his fights at the Main academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Seth will continue teaching at ATT Orlando along with Paul Rodriguez.
Look for Seth to be back in action Oct. 27th at Knight Fights in Orlando, Florida.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Strikeforce will hold a four-man middleweight tournament at their next event on November 16th:
Strikeforce announced the first one-night tournament ever in California, which will be a four-man middleweight tournament featuring Joe Riggs and Falaniko Vitale on 11/16 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion. Promoter Scott Coker said it was be streamed live on Yahoo! like the Playboy Mansion show was. Cung Le will be in the non-tourament main event.
Joe Riggs has parted ways with UFC/WEC parent company Zuffa and has signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce according to The Fight Network. Even more importantly, Riggs will make his Strikeforce debut on September 29th when he challenges Eugene Jackson for the Strikeforce U.S. Middleweight Title:
Joe Riggs (26-9) has no problem fighting for any promotion, as long as he gets a little respect. The seven-time UFC veteran says he recently asked promoters Zuffa LLC. to release him from a four-fight co-promotional contract with its sister organization World Extreme Cagefighting to pursue more lucrative offers that would entail less fights.
Subsequently, Riggs has signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce and will make his debut for the San Jose, Calif. promotion’s Sept. 29 “Strikeforce Hits the Playboy Mansion” event at the famous Los Angeles hotspot. The 24-year-old wrestler will challenge striker Eugene Jackson for his Strikeforce U.S. Middleweight Championship title. Jackson, 41, earned the accolade nine months ago by submitting Hawaii staple Ronald Jhun in just over two minutes, but is remembered more for a string of brutal UFC knockouts in the late 90s.
Riggs was originally rumored to be taking on Jason “Mayhem” Miller in a October WEC bout but that fight never developed after the WEC changed their minds about having the fight take place. Couple that with Riggs’ WEC Middleweight Title being stripped from around his waist and Zuffa stating that a Riggs loss to Dan Chambers in July would result in Riggs being fired and you have your reasons behind Riggs asking to be released.
The Fight Network is reporting that Joe Riggs and Jason “Mayhem” Miller will square off at the WEC in October to determine the number one contender for the WEC middleweight title.
“I’m fighting Mayhem at the WEC in October,” said Riggs.
According to Riggs, the bout will determine a contender for the WEC middleweight title; the promotion will crown a fresh champion Sunday with a showdown between undefeated Brazilian Top Team rep Paulo Filho (13-0) and resilient Canadian Joe Doerksen (39-9), broadcasted live the on VERSUS Network.
Joe Riggs (26-9) was thrown into a do or die situation in July when he fought Jason Chambers at Hardcore Championship Fighting. Riggs was told if he lost he would be released from his contract with Zuffa. Luckily for Riggs he defeated Chambers by triangle choke in the first round of their middleweight affair.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller (19-5) made his WEC debut earlier this year when he defeated Hiromitsu Miura by decision.
When Joe Riggs made his UFC debut against Joe Doersken at UFC 49, the hype came along with him.
For those of you who are unfamilar with “Diesel”, a quick summary of things:
Riggs had made a name for himself in smaller organizations, primarily RITC, for his powerful strikes and amazing strength. Starting his professional MMA career at 300 lbs, Riggs had gradually dropped weight to the point where he was able to fight at 185 lbs.
Absolutely huge for the middleweight division, many thought the then 21-year old Riggs would be a force in the UFC. He went on to stop Doersken in the second round at UFC 49 and then racked up wins over Chilo Gonzalez and Thomas Gil in the WEC and RITC respectively. Everything was set for Riggs to go on and shine. Then a series of unfortunate events happened…
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has stated on his official blog that he has started training again and hopes to be fighting in October.
- Mark Bocek, who will be making his UFC debut this Saturday against Frankie Edgar has stated that he spent the majority of his time training for the fight with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico.
- K-1 has announced the updated card for it’s Hero’s 9 event on July 16th:
Caol Uno vs Katsuhiko Nagata
Kazuyuki Miyata vs Vitor Ribeiro
Hideo Tokoro vs Kultar Gill
Gesias Calvancanti vs Andre Dida
Alexandre Franca Nogueira vs Shuichiro Katsumura
Katsuyori Shibata vs Ralek Gracie
Dong Sik Yoon vs Bernard Ackah
- Joe Riggs’s next fight will be on July 21st against Dan Chambers at Hardcore Fighting Championship’s debut event. Ricco Rodriguez and Ron Waterman will also be fighting for the third time on the card.
- Jason Day has announced that he may be fighting in the UFC in September according to The Fight Network.
- Countdown to UFC 73 will air tonight for the first time on Spike TV at 10:30 PM EST. UFC All-Access featuring UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will air immediately after that.
- Staying with the television theme, The History Channel has a new MMA-related show starting on July 20th titled “Human Weapon”:
The History Channel is jumping on the MMA bandwagon. The network will premier “Human Weapon,” at 10 p.m. Friday, July 20. Hosted by welterweight jiu-jitsu artist Jason Chambers and former professional wrestler Bill Duff, the show will traverse the globe as the two introduce viewers to various martial arts disciplines.
The series opens in iconic referee “Big” John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif. Episode one will focus on muay Thai, as Chambers and Duff travel to Bangok, Thailand, home to the martial art that made Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua household names. From ancient killing techniques in the jungles to weapons training among the ruins of a Buddhist temple, the hosts will attempt to master aspects of the centuries-old discipline in hopes one of them can survive a bout with an international muay Thai champion.
Future episodes will take viewers to Russia to study Sambo (likely with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko) and to Israel to study Krav Maga, a fighting system developed in Europe and employed by various Israeli security forces. The series will also feature exhibition bouts, including one filmed yesterday with former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
- Ken Pavia, manager of Phil Baroni, has stated that Baroni will seek a second opinion from doctors on his pending surgery for a torn groin muscle and hernia.