Joe Riggs Out Of UFC Fight Night 51 After Accidentally Shooting Himself With Pistol

July 29, 2014
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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.

Joe Riggs at UFC 52The 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.

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  • David Huenecke

    I thought the number one rule of cleaning a gun is to make sure it’s not loaded.

    • Lawdog1521

      It is. Of course then again, nobodies ever accused Joe of being a rocket scientist.

      • Motorsash

        Riggs was never the brightest bulb in the room.
        Hey,this could be Tito’s next excuse when he loses again.
        “I shot myself while training but I still took this fight for my fans.”

    • Steven Smith

      He probably didn’t realize that he had a round in the chamber. obviously that’s still a safety lapse but not completely brain-dead

    • Noveske Sonn

      Why would anyone try to clean a gun that was loaded? Isn’t that rule under safety 101?

      • Stephen seeley

        common sence 101

  • mrjoeyloke

    Come on Joe… Well, wish you a speedy recovery!

  • laleggenda27

    I generally root for Joe. But it’s not a coincidence that some people always find a way to ruin things for themselves. Hopefully he has a good recovery and finds his way back to the Octagon.

  • The Milkman

    I’d like to see Riggs vs Diego 2

    • Seth

      Diego would have to win some first o: As far as I know he has 3 L’s in a row at the moment o:

  • TheCerealKiller

    Like David Huenecke, first clear the chamber. I don’t know if I buy the story. I think somebody was screwing around.

    • Seth

      Nah, Im ready to believe it. Accidents happen, so that’s possible 😉

      • james j

        Sure it is possible; probable not so much (for those who are responsible)


    what an idiot !!!

  • John Lee

    Classic example of fearing success. Or self-sabotage.

  • james j

    He was cleaning a loaded gun? Very brave and incredibly stupid

  • TigOlBitties

    If guns only shot the idiots who believe they’re necessary in a modern society, I’d support that misguided Second Amendment.

  • dandogood

    Joe Riggs with a gun? amazingly stupid?