Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Joe Riggs

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Other names  Diesel
Name  Joe Riggs
Nationality  American
Role  Mixed martial artist

Height  6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Spouse  Lisa Riggs
Reach  70.0 in (178 cm)
Number of contests  1
Joe Riggs Bellator 10639s Joe Riggs 39Working with Ben Henderson
Born  September 23, 1982 (age 33) Sanford, Maine, United States (1982-09-23)
Weight  185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st) 170
Division  Heavyweight Light Heavyweight Middleweight Welterweight (current)
Movies  UFC 52: Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell, UFC 57: Couture vs. Liddell 3, UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie

K1 mma joe riggs vs louis taylor

Joseph Jonathan "Joe" Riggs (born September 23, 1982) is an American professional mixed martial artist. A professional competitor since 2001, Riggs formerly competed for the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator, ProElite, and King of the Cage. Riggs is the former WEC Middleweight Champion.


Joe Riggs aespncdncomcombineriimgiheadshotsmmaplay

Joe riggs vs christian evans bkb4 light heavyweight bare knuckle title fight exclusive


Joe Riggs Joe Riggs Character Giant Bomb

Born in Sanford, Maine and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Riggs began 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. Riggs 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, at Glendale Community College (Arizona), where he studied to get a Criminal Justice degree. Riggs has trained at Arizona Combat Sports under the Lally brothers, MMA Lab under John Crouch and TNT Training Center under Scott Tannenbaum.

Early career

Joe Riggs MMA Lab39s John Crouch is Thrilled to See Joe Riggs

Riggs made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2001 and compiled a record of 13-3 with one no contest before being signed by the WEC.


Joe Riggs Gun cleaning fail Joe Riggs blows hole in UFC comeback

Riggs made his WEC debut at WEC 9 against Alex Stiebling, in what was also his debut at Light Heavyweight. Riggs lost via triangle choke submission in the second round. But after the fight people started to take notice of Riggs. Although he lost the fight, he battered Stiebling so badly that after the fight he had to be helped out of the cage and taken to a hospital. Reports said that almost everyone at ring side had Stiebling's blood on both them and their paperwork. The promoter Scott Adams said the fight could and should have been stopped at several points in the fight, leading it to be known as one of the most brutal fights in WEC history. After that he went down to middle weight to fight Isidro Gonzalez in the WEC. Where Riggs finished the fight early in the 1st Round by TKO. After his impressive victory over Gonzalez the WEC gave him a shot at the vacant Middleweight Title again the undefeated Rob Kimmons. Riggs put on a very impressive performance by stopping Kimmons early in the 1st round, earning him the WEC world title, which he held for the next 2 years.

Riggs' dream of fighting in the UFC materialized in 2004, in a winning bout against Canadian fighter Joe Doerksen. After that Riggs moved down to Welter Weight to fight veteran Chris "Lights Out" Lytle. Riggs went on to win the fight by 2nd round TKO. And was the 1st and only man to ever stop the very popular battler Chris Lytle. Then after being name the UFCs number 1 Welter Weight contender. Riggs received his shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 56 in November 2005 against Matt Hughes. He was originally supposed to face the winner of the upcoming title fight. But got called to fight just a month after the defeating Lytle in UFC 55 to face long time champion Hughes for the UFC Welter Weight title.

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 future longtime Strikeforce Welterweight Champion, Nick Diaz via 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 alumnus 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 WEC 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 submission in his Strikeforce debut at Strikeforce: At The Dome.

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. However, he was denied licensure by the California State Athletic Commission after disclosing his recent use of prescription medication during the licensing process. Riggs lost to Kazuo Misaki at Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion via controversial stoppage on September 20, 2008.

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.

Riggs next fought on the Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields card from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO on June 6, 2009, against Phil "The New York Badass" Baroni in a three-round welterweight bout that won him the interim Strike Force Welter Weight title and that was broadcast live on the Showtime cable network. In a performance that featured his versatile standup game, including several flying knees, Riggs won a unanimous decision over Baroni.

In his next fight, Riggs faced Jay Hieron on January 30, 2010, at Strikeforce: Miami. Riggs lost the fight via unanimous decision.

In the main event of Strikeforce Challengers: Riggs vs. Taylor, Riggs faced up and coming Middleweight Louis Taylor. "Diesel" won by submission due to strikes in the third round.

On December 9, 2010, it was announced that Riggs has parted ways with Strikeforce.


About a month later, on January 10, 2011, Riggs signed with Bellator to fight in its Middleweight division. Riggs made his Bellator debut against Season 2 Middleweight Tournament Finalist Bryan Baker at Bellator 43. After a back and forth fight, Baker knocked Riggs out with a left hook late in the second round.

Independent Promotions

Three months after his knockout loss to Baker at Bellator 43, In a rematch from their bout in 2004 Riggs fought The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner and fellow UFC veteran Kendall Grove. Grove quickly defeated Riggs by submission due to a guillotine choke, Thus avenging his previous loss to Riggs. For the first time in his ten-year career as a mixed martial artist Riggs has lost three straight fights.

After the loss to Grove he went on a five-fight win streak.

Fight Master: Bellator MMA

On May 6, 2013, it was announced that Riggs would be featured as a participant on Bellator's reality TV show Fight Master: Bellator MMA, competing as a Welterweight.

In his first fight to get into the house, Riggs defeated UK fighter Rob Mills via heel hook submission in the first round and subsequently chose to join Greg Jackson's team. In the preliminary round, Riggs defeated Eric Scallan via unanimous decision and went on to the quarterfinal round where he defeated Evan Cutts via unanimous decision. In the semifinal round, Riggs defeated number one seed Cole Williams in a three-round split decision victory. He made it to the tournament finals with Mike Bronzoulis.

Riggs was set to face Mike Bronzoulis in the Fight Master Finale on September 7, 2013 at Bellator 98. However, on September 3, it was revealed Riggs has sustained a significant eye injury and the bout was postponed indefinitely. The bout took place on November 2, 2013 at Bellator 106. Riggs won the fight via unanimous decision to become the first winner of Fight Master.

Return to UFC

After becoming the first winner of Fight Master, Riggs was expected to return to UFC and face Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night 51 on September 13, 2014, replacing an injured Mike Rhodes. However, Riggs was forced to pull out of the fight after accidentally shooting himself in the hand and leg while cleaning a pistol at his home.

Riggs made his eventual return against Ben Saunders at UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic on December 13, 2014 at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The fight ended early in the first round by TKO due to injury when Riggs hurt his neck on a takedown and tapped out shortly thereafter.

Joe Riggs faced Patrick Côté on April 25, 2015 at UFC 186. Riggs lost the back-and-forth fight by unanimous decision.

Riggs was expected to face Uriah Hall in a middleweight bout on August 8, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 73. However, Riggs pulled out of the fight in late July an citing injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Oluwale Bamgbose.

Following a quick recovery, Riggs faced Ron Stallings on September 5, 2015 at UFC 191. Riggs won the bout via disqualification after Stallings landed an illegal upkick, which rendered Riggs unable to continue.

Riggs faced Chris Camozzi on February 21, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 83. He lost the fight via TKO in the first round due a series of knees by Camozzi, which broke the right forearm of Riggs. On April, 13th Riggs was released from the promotion.


Riggs recently started competing in Bare Knuckle Boxing matches under the UK based "BKB" promotion. He won a Championship fight against Christian “Fat Boy“ Evans by unanimous decision.

Personal life

Joe and his wife had a son who died shortly after birth. They have another son. Joe also has a daughter named Jadin who is 3 years younger than his son.

Championships and accomplishments

  • Bellator MMA
  • Fight Master: Bellator MMA Season One Winner
  • World Extreme Cagefighting
  • WEC Middleweight Championship (One time)
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Submission of the Night (One time) vs. Jason Von Flue
  • Z Promotions
  • Welterweight Championship 1 time
  • References

    Joe Riggs Wikipedia