by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Reporting by Ricardo Mendoza)
Joe Riggs, scheduled to face Luke Stewart at Friday night’s Strikeforce event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., was denied medical clearance on Thursday at weigh-ins. Stepping in at the last minute to take his place is fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Drew Fickett
During the process of going through his medical clearance with the California State Athletic Commission, according to Strikeforce vice president Mike Afromowitz, Riggs was denied clearance due to information provided on the forms submitted to the commission.
“He took a prescription drug that he noted on his forms, but the commission won’t allow him to fight, even though it is a medically prescribed drug,” said Afromowitz. The name and reason for use of the drug were not disclosed.
“The good news is we’re bringing in Drew Fickett,” said the Strikeforce vice president. “Drew Fickett is going to fight Luke Stewart at 185 (pounds).” Stewart and Riggs were slated to meet at a catch weight of 178 pounds.
Fickett, who competed just three weeks ago at a Rage in the Cage event in Arizona, enters the bout on one day of notice, but riding a five-fight winning streak.
Stewart, 5-1 as a professional, lost for the first time in his last bout, to Tiki Ghosn at the March Strikeforce event earlier this year.