Joe Riggs. Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.
Former PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix runner-up Kazuo Misaki will make his Strikeforce debut against UFC veteran Joe Riggs when the organization returns to the famous Playboy Mansion in California for their second “Strikeforce at the Mansion” show on September 20th.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz officially announced the bout in a press release sent out to the media last night. After spending his entire career fighting for Japanese-based promotions, Misaki signed a two-fight deal with Strikeforce in March.
“I am looking forward to making my debut for Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion, an incredible venue that is well-known throughout the world,” Misaki said. “Joe Riggs is a tremendous competitor. His style is aggressive like mine so I have no doubt that our fight will be an exciting and memorable one.”
Misaki brings a two-fight winning streak into the bout against Riggs. He last competed in May, winning a unanimous decision over WEC fighter Logan Clark. Prior to that, he submitted rising middleweight contender Siyar Bahadurzada at World Victory Road’s inaugural “Sengoku” show.
Riggs meanwhile has competed only once since re-injured his oft-troubled back against Cory Devela at Strikeforce’s Tacoma Dome show earlier this year, submitting journeyman Matt Dempsey at a Rage in the Cage event last month. According to Riggs, he is now fully healthy and ready to jump back into full-time action.
“The back’s great. It’s 100 percent,” Riggs said. “I’m really excited to be healthy again and looking forward to getting back on top.”
Riggs, who was once scheduled to challenge Matt Hughes for the UFC’s welterweight title almost three years ago, has stated that his battle against Misaki will be his last at 185 lbs, choosing to once again move down to the welterweight division.
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