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Report: Joe Riggs returns to UFC, set to face Paulo Thiago at UFN 51

Mike Rhodes is injured, and according to a report, the UFC has brought back long time MMA vet Joe Riggs to step in.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

In a signing that seems to be right out of left field, Globo reports that long time MMA vet Joe Riggs is returning to the UFC. According to the Brazilian site, Mike Rhodes has suffered an injury and 'Diesel' has been tapped to make a return as he steps in to face Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night 51: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2 this September.

Riggs has last fought at Bellator 106, taking a decision win over Mike Bronzoulis to win the inaugural season of Fight Master. He is currently on a 6-fight winning streak -- or 10 if you count the ones on the Bellator reality show -- dating back to 2011.

Although he had his first stint with the promotion a decade ago at UFC 49, interestingly enough, he will still be the younger fighter with him being just 31-years-old, two years the junior of his opponent in Thiago. The mileage will be a lot different though with Riggs having a total of 55 fights in a 13-year career that saw him win over the likes of Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Phil Baroni.

Riggs is a former WEC champion and was a top contender for Matt Hughes' UFC title, and is also known for that infamous hospital brawl he had with Diaz following their 2006 bout.

Thiago on the other hand, has lost 6 of his last 8 bouts, but was still able to keep his UFC job and has signed on for a new 4-fight deal with the promotion last June.

It's 2014, and the UFC has surprisingly brought back Arlovski and Riggs who were both part of the promotion's formative years. I wonder if Caol Uno is pissed that his more impressive run is mostly being ignored by the UFC brass.

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