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.