|Doghouse Boxing interview with UFC veteran Joe Riggs
By Matthew Degonzaque (Sept 2, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Recently I was given the opportunity to give questions to Mixed Martial Arts veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs (28-10). Riggs, a veteran of UFC, Strikeforce, WEC and Rage in the Cage, took time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions as he prepares for his September 20th fight against middleweight contender Kazuo Misaki (20-8-2) at the Strikeforce: At the Mansion II show.
Riggs talked about various topics including his toughest opponent, his feelings on his upcoming bout with Misaki, his decision to go down to 170lbs permanently, his relationship with Matt Hughes and his contract with Strikeforce.
I’d also like to thank Melissa Ingram, director of Media Relations for Ken Shamrock Entertainment, for helping me every step of the way with for this interview.
Matthew DeGonzaque: Joe thanks for giving me the opportunity to ask you these questions. How are you and how is training going?
Joe Riggs: No problem. I’m good, thanks. Training is going really well, I have some great guys helping me prepare for the fight.
MD: Joe, you’ve had many fights against some of the biggest names in the sport since you started fighting, who would you say has been your toughest opponent?
JR: I would have to say Nick Diaz.
MD: Your next fight is going to be against Kazuo Misaki on September 20th at Strikeforce: Playboy at the Mansion II how did the idea of you fighting Misaki coming about?
JR: They gave me a choice of a few opponents, Misaki was the biggest name. I want some big wins going into my next contract.
MD: In the press release for your upcoming fight with Misaki, you say that this fight will be your last at 185lbs before you move down in weight. Would you still be interested in staying at 185lb if they offered you a shot at Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le or another big fight at 185?
JR: If they offer big money, then yes. It’s all about taking care of my family.
MD: What was is the reasoning in your decision to go down to 170lbs permanently?
JR: It just makes sense for me at this point in my career. My body has adjusted over the years and it’s easier for me to cut weight now. I have a lot of years left in this sport, so there’s always a chance that I might go back up to 185lbs sometime down the road. But for the next several years, I’ll definitely be fighting at 170lbs.
MD: What do you think of your opponent, Misaki?
JR: He is a good match for me. We are both aggressive; it’s going to be a great fight.
MD: What kind of deal do you have with Strikeforce currently? Is it exclusive? How many fights is it for?
JR: It is an exclusive contract. Sometimes they are willing to make exceptions but they have to approve the opponent. I have two fights left with Strikeforce, the fight at the Playboy Mansion and one more after that.
MD: What’s your current relationship with the UFC?
JR: My relationship with the UFC is good. I still talk to them every once in a while and it is always on good terms.
MD: Have you had any talks with any of other big MMA organizations like EliteXC or Affliction?
JR: Yes I have, they have expressed interest. When the time comes, I will have to whey my options.
MD: During your fights, commentators often make a point of talking about how you started your career at 300lbs originally. One of DHB’s posters, Undisputed, would like to know what you did to go from heavyweight all the way down to welterweight. Can you tell us that Joe?
JR: It all comes down to work ethic. I have to stick to a strict diet and train hard. It is easier now, my body adapts pretty quickly.
MD: In the past you’ve had problems with Matt Hughes, in and out of the Octagon. If you don’t mind, can you tell me about that and your current relationship with Matt Hughes and Militech Fighting Systems?
JR: I love training with the guys at Militech. The main guy I’ve trained with and learned from is Jeremy Horn. As for Matt Hughes, I think he’s a piece of shit.
MD: If you were a matchmaker, what fighter would you like to fight the most and why that fighter?
JR: Now that I am dropping down to the welterweight division, I would definitely say Georges St. Pierre. I need to test myself against the best in the division to put myself back in contention for a title.
MD: Lastly Joe, what is your prediction for your own upcoming fight with Kazuo Misaki?
JR: I predict a hard fight and I see myself winning by decision.
MD: From everyone here at DHB, I’d like to thank you Joe for taking your time and answering these questions for me. Best of luck against Kazuo Misaki.
JR: Thanks man. I appreciate the interview.
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