UFC Veteran Joins Bellator’s Middleweight Division
Bellator Fighting Championships will return for its fourth season this March, and the show will have former WEC Middleweight Champion Joe “Diesel” Riggs (34-11) on its roster when it resumes. A veteran of both the UFC and Strikeforce, Riggs brings to Bellator a highly impressive stoppage ratio, with 31 of his 34 wins coming without the need of the cageside judges.
"Joe Riggs is a battle tested veteran who brings it in every fight,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “He is a great addition to our middleweight division, and I'm looking forward to seeing Joe in action during Season 4.”
Riggs became involved in combat sports at an early age, starting an amateur boxing career at just 10-years-old. With a Golden Gloves Championship under his belt, the Phoenix native began to wrestle when he got to high school, and he was twice named an All-American. Possessing that strong fight background, Riggs decided to turn to Mixed Martial Arts after he turned 17. Currently just 28 years of age, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt then began his professional MMA career in 2001 under the Rage in the Cage banner, and he won his first world title in 2005 when he defeated Rob Kimmons for the vacant WEC Middleweight Championship. He was eventually able to earn himself a contract with the UFC, and he has most recently fought for the Strikeforce and King of the Cage promotions. Riggs is currently riding a nice hot streak, winning six of his last seven matches.
"This is the healthiest and the happiest that I can ever remember being in my life,” Riggs remarked. “I'm in the prime of my life, I'm injury-free, and things have just really come together in my life. I just can't wait to show everyone what I have."
Riggs was also excited to test his skills in the talented middleweight pool that Bellator has.
"Bellator has a lot of well-rounded, talented guys in their middleweight division," Riggs said. "Guys like Bryan Baker, Eric Schambari, and of course the Middleweight Champion, Hector Lombard. There are some really good middleweights for me to test myself against, and it was one of the reasons I came to Bellator.”
When Bellator kicks back into action in March, it will be under a new television contract with MTV2.