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Joseph Jonathan Riggs (born September 23, 1982) is an Americanmarker mixed martial arts fighter. He has competed at weights ranging from Heavyweight down to Welterweight. Currently, Riggs fights as a Welterweight.


Riggs was born and raised in Sanford, Mainemarker. He dreamed of fighting in the UFC since he was 10 years old. He started fighting during his senior year in high school, and decided to do it full-time soon after.

Martial arts background

Riggs started boxing as a child with his father. Although Riggs is right handed, he was encouraged by his boxing coach to fight southpaw, making his power hand his lead hand. He is a former boxer.

He began wrestling at Cactus high school in Glendale, Arizona, he followed in the footsteps of his hero, Randy Couture, and became an All-American twice. Currently, Riggs also holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Second-Dan BJJ black belt, Gustavo Dantas. His manager and trainer is Scott Lewis. Riggs has also trained at Arizona Combat Sports under the Lally brothers.

Riggs' strength training consists primarily of plyometrics. His weight training is geared to maintain his muscle mass, and consists of squats, deadlifts and cleans. Riggs does a lot of pushups and circuit training.

Riggs credits his success to his knockout power and athleticism. He says that his favorite technique is a right hook, which he knocked out Luke Stewart with on November 20, 2008. Riggs has fought in the UFC eight times, and has also appeared at the Playboy Mansion twice fighting under the Strikeforce banner.

Mixed martial arts career

Over his career, Riggs has fought in the Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Middleweight and Welterweight divisions, and became a four-time Desert Quest champion, two-time Grapplers Quest Advance champion, Rage in the Cage Heavyweight and Middleweight champion, Art of War Heavyweight champion, Evolution Combat Heavyweight champion, and XCF Light Heavyweight champion.

Riggs' dream of fighting in the UFC materialized in 2004, in a winning bout against Canadianmarker fighter Joe Doerksen. Riggs received his shot at the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 56 in November 2005 against Matt Hughes.

Originally, the title shot was offered to Karo Parisyan, who had to withdraw due to a torn hamstring. When Riggs was contacted to take Parisyan's place he jumped at the chance, despite having fought at UFC 55 just a month earlier. However, Riggs did not make the required weight and the fight was declared a non-title event, due to Hughes allowing Riggs to fight him (if a fighter does not make weight for a match, the match may still take place if their opponent allows it). Despite his efforts, Riggs could not mount a significant challenge; Hughes took him down and submitted him with a kimura from half-guard just minutes into the first round of the fight.

Following his loss to Hughes, Riggs rebounded to win against Nick Diaz (decision) at UFC 57. In the hospital room after the fight, Diaz and Riggs got into a physical altercation where they had to be separated by police.

Riggs then moved up to Middleweight to face The Ultimate Fighter alumni Mike Swick. Early in the fight Riggs was caught in a guillotine choke and tapped out. Riggs then fought The Ultimate Fighter 2's Jason Von Flue, submitting him with a triangle choke.

Riggs' last UFC bout was on December 13, 2006 against Welterweight contender Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 7. Riggs lost the fight due to knockout from a hook followed by a knee in 1:45 of the first round.

Following the fight with Sanchez, Riggs chose to go to the WEC and compete for the vacant Middleweight championship, but had to pull out of the fight the day before because of a recurring back injury.

Riggs lost to Cory Devela via TKO at Strikeforce: At The Dome due to re-injuring his back while pummeling before Devela threw him. He was a heavy favorite in this fight, and his loss continued a streak of performances that did not live up to the expectations for the talented fighter (particularly vs. Hughes, Salaverry, Swick, and Sanchez).

Riggs was to return to action on Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson, facing Jiujitsu specialist Luke Stewart. Riggs stepped in as a late replacement for Shonie Carter who was injured in training. The fight was to be contested at a catchweight of 178 pounds.[299907] However, He was denied licensure by the California State Athletic Commission after disclosing his recent use of prescription medication during the licensing process. Joe Riggs lost to Kazou Misaki at Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion on September 20, 2008.

Joe Riggs won his next fight at Strikeforce: Destruction on November 21, 2008 against Luke Stewart by TKO (Punches) in 2nd round 2:05. Riggs broke his hand throwing the first punch of the bout, but managed to rally in the second round, breaking Stewart's nose in the process.[299908]

Riggs next fought on the Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields card from the ScottTrade Centermarker in St. Louis, MO on June 6, 2009 against Phil "The New York Badass" Baroni in a 3-round welterweight bout that was broadcast live on the Showtime cable network. In a very impressive performance that featured his versatile standup game, including several flying knees, Riggs won a unanimous decision over Baroni.

Riggs is expected to compete for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title before the end of 2009.

Elite Performance

Joe "Diesel" Riggs currently trains at Elite Performance with UFC veterans Jeremy "Gumby" Horn, Travis "Diesel" Wiuff, and DaMarques "Darkness" Johnson.

Personal life

Joe and his wife, Lisa, welcomed a son in the summer of 2006, but he died shortly after birth. Their second son, Joseph Diesel Riggs, was born on June 28, 2007.

MMA record


External links

Record Date Outcome Opponent Method Event Round Time Location Notes
2009-12-04 Eric Regan RITC 138 - Rage in the Cage 138 Mesa, Arizonamarker, USmarker
31–11–0(1) 2009-06-06 Win Phil Baroni Decision (Unanimous) Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields 3 5:00 St. Louis, Missourimarker, USmarker
30–11–0(1) 2008-11-21 Win Luke Stewart TKO (Punches) Strikeforce: Destruction 2 2:05 San Jose, Californiamarker, USmarker
29–11–0(1) 2008-09-20 Loss Kazuo Misaki TKO (Punches) Strikeforce: At The Mansion II 2 2:29 Beverly Hills, Californiamarker, USmarker
29–10–0(1) 2008-07-26 Win Matt Dempsey Submission (Rear Naked Choke) RITC 112 – Rage in the Cage 112 2 1:47 Prescott, Arizonamarker, USmarker
28–10–0(1) 2008-02-23 Loss Cory Devela Submission (Injury) Strikeforce: At The Dome 1 1:22 Tacoma, Washingtonmarker, USmarker
28–9–0(1) 2007-09-29 Win Eugene Jackson KO (Punches) Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion 1 3:56 Beverly Hills, Californiamarker, USmarker
27–9–0(1) 2007-07-21 Win Dan Chambers Submission (Triangle Choke) HCF – Hardcore Championship Fighting 1 N/A Edmonton, Albertamarker, Canadamarker
26–9–0(1) 2006-12-13 Loss Diego Sanchez KO (Punches) UFC Fight Night 7 1 1:45 San Diego, Californiamarker, USmarker
26–8–0(1) 2006-08-17 Win Jason Von Flue Submission (Triangle Choke) UFC Fight Night 6 1 2:01 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker
25–8–0(1) 2006-05-27 Loss Mike Swick Submission (Guillotine Choke) UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie 1 2:19 Los Angeles, Californiamarker, USmarker
25–7–0(1) 2006-02-04 Win Nick Diaz Decision (Unanimous) UFC 57: Couture vs Liddell 3 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker
24–7–0(1) 2005-11-19 Loss Matt Hughes Submission (Kimura) UFC 56: Full Force 1 3:28 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker Originally a title fight, but Riggs failed to make weight and was changed to a non-title match.
24–6–0(1) 2005-10-07 Win Chris Lytle TKO (Cut) UFC 55: Fury 2 2:00 Uncasville, Connecticutmarker, USmarker Debut at Welterweight
23–6–0(1) 2005-05-19 Win Rob Kimmons Submission (Strikes) WEC 15: Judgment Day 1 1:24 Lemoore, Californiamarker, USmarker Won vacant WEC Middleweight Championship
22–6–0(1) 2005-04-16 Loss Ivan Salaverry Submission (Triangle Choke) UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell 2 1 2:42 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker
21–5–0(1) 2004-11-13 Win Thomas Gil Submission (Armbar) RITC 66 – Rage in the Cage 66 1 2:05 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
20–5–0(1) 2004-10-21 Win Chilo Gonzalez TKO WEC 12: Halloween Fury 3 1 1:50 Lemoore, Californiamarker, USmarker
19–5–0(1) 2004-08-21 Win Joe Doerksen Submission (Strikes) UFC 49: Unfinished Business 2 3:37 Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, USmarker
18–5–0(1) 2004-05-28 Win Shane Johnson KO XCF 5: Evolution 1 N/A Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
17–5–0(1) 2004-05-07 Win Kendall Grove KO (Elbows) ROTR 5 – Rumble on the Rock 5 1 3:09 Honolulu, Hawaiimarker, USmarker Debut at Middleweight
16–5–0(1) 2004-04-30 Win Dave Vitkay KO ICC-Trials 2 1 N/A Minnesotamarker, USmarker
15–5–0(1) 2004-03-20 Win John Renken KO RITC 60: 'The Saint' Goes Marching In 1 0:28 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
14–5–0(1) 2004-01-31 Win Chris Kiever KO IFC: Battleground Tahoe 1 0:49 Lake Tahoe, Nevadamarker, USmarker
13–5–0(1) 2004-01-16 Loss Alex Stiebling Submission (Triangle Choke) WEC 9: Cold Blooded 2 1:54 Lemoore, Californiamarker, USmarker Debut at Light Heavyweight
13–4–0(1) 2003-12-13 Win Cory Timmerman Submission (Armbar) RITC 57: Tucson Revisited 1 1:11 Tucson, Arizonamarker, USmarker
12–4–0(1) 2003-12-06 Win Frank Alcala TKO IFC: Rumble on the Rio 1 0:31 Hidalgo, Texasmarker, USmarker
11–4–0(1) 2003-09-13 No contest Andy Montana No Contest RITC 53: The Beat Goes On N/A N/A Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
11–4 2003-07-19 Win Greg Wikan TKO (Corner Stoppage) ECS: Evolution 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
10–4 2003-06-21 Win Will Hammond TKO AOW – Art of War 1 N/A Kalispell, Montanamarker, USmarker
9–4 2003-04-06 Loss Rodney Faverus KO (Knee) K-1 World Grand Prix 2003 Preliminary Holland 1 2:00 Zoetermeermarker, Netherlandsmarker
9–3 2003-03-01 Loss Travis Fulton Submission (Choke) RITC 45: Finally 1 0:48 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
9–2 2003-01-18 Win Herb Dean Submission (Strikes) RITC 43: The Match 1 0:52 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
8–2 2002-12-28 Loss Wesley Correira KO ROTR 1 – Rumble on the Rock 1 2 2:07 Honolulu, Hawaiimarker, USmarker
8–1 2002-12-07 Win Lemuel Vincent TKO RITC 42: Road Trip 1 0:23 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
7–1 2002-10-19 Win Allan Sullivan Submission (Armbar) RITC 39: Bring It 3 1:57 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
6–1 2002-09-07 Win Joe Pardo Decision (Unanimous) RITC 38: Let's Roll 3 3:00 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
5–1 2002-06-22 Win Jess Morton TKO RITC 36: The Rematch 1 3:00 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
4–1 2002-05-03 Win Andy Montana Submission (Strikes) RITC 35: This Time It's Personal 1 1:24 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
3–1 2002-03-15 Loss Homer Moore Decision (Unanimous) RITC 34: Rage in the Cage 34 3 3:00 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
3–0 2002-02-02 Win Joey Vigueria Submission (Strikes) RITC 33: The Big Show 1 2:00 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
2–0 2001-11-07 Win Justin Lyon Submission (Strikes) RITC 31: Rage in the Cage 31 1 0:33 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker
1–0 2001-09-26 Win Ryan Roath Submission (Strikes) RITC 30: Rage in the Cage 30 1 2:32 Phoenix, Arizonamarker, USmarker Fights at Heavyweight

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