Mixed martial arts veteran Joe Riggs was supposed to return to the UFC for the first time since 2006 against Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil on Sept. 13, but has been forced out of the bout after a firearm accident in his Arizona home on Monday.
The UFC released a statement on the incident on Tuesday.
“We were made aware that newly-signed UFC competitor Joe Riggs was involved in an unfortunate accident last night. While cleaning his permitted firearm (a pistol), the gun discharged, injuring his hand and upper thigh. Riggs was transported to a nearby hospital in Arizona where he is being treated by physicians. We wish Joe a speedy recovery.”
After leaving the UFC following a loss to Diego Sanchez in December 2006, Riggs competed in the Strikeforce promotion, Bellator MMA, Rage in the Cage and other organizations. He’s currently riding a six-fight winning streak and won the Bellator reality show Fight Master.
A replacement opponent for Thiago is being sought.