Life after the UFC can be very random, and the man known as Diesel recently further proved that point.
In anevent staged by the Bare Knuckle Boxing promotion, 34-year-old UFC vet Joe Riggs fought for a championship against Welsh fighter Christian “Fat Boy“ Evans, winning by decision. Courtesy of The Daily Star, the fight was not without some hiccups for the MMA fighter:
He was deducted points in the first two rounds after trying to take down Evans but rallied in the third, knocking his rival down with a looping right hand that sent Evans crashing to the mat with a nasty cut above his eye.
Riggs pressed ahead and used his superior fight IQ in the latter stages of the bout to take home the title via unanimous decision.
The contest was fought under modified boxing rules that allowed only for punches with handwraps. Evans was allowed to wear a shirt for the contest, and was at a serious disadvantage during the majority of the fight. Riggs was able to use his feints and hand speed to get the better of Evans in most of the exchanges, dropping his opponent and controlling the fight throughout.
The full fight is available for viewing below (link if video is not available)
Riggs posted a celebratory post on Facebook as well:
Riggs has had a long and rough professional MMA career that began with a stint in Rage in the Cage, followed by fights in regional organizations in the states of Arizona, Montana and Minnesota, including a stop in Rumble on the Rock against Kendall Grove in 2004. He made his way to the UFC and earned a win over Joe Doerksen to then fight in the WEC and another fight for Rage in the Cage.
He returned to the UFC to lose to Ivan Salaverry, but won fights against Rob Kimmons, Chris Lytle, Nick Diaz and Jason Von Flue. During that run he had losses to Matt Hughes, Mike Swick and Diego Sanchez, which led to a few fights in Strikeforce that included a handful of regional fights between them.
Years later, he participated in Bellator’s Fight Master series, winning the series before bouncing back to another UFC run that was rather odd. He lost to Ben Saunders by medical stoppage due to a neck injury, then a decision to Patrick Cote followed by a DQ win over Ron Stallings due to an illegal upkick. After a TKO loss to Chris Camozzi last February, he returned to MMA in October with a win over another UFC veteran, Cody McKenzie. That fight ended with a submission due to strikes.
It’s not clear if this means the end of Riggs’ MMA career, but it’s an interesting direction to go in after such a rocky combat sports life.