Joe “Diesel” Riggs came into his UFC 52 bout with Ivan Salaverry on an eight fight win streak of dominating performances. He was quickly becoming a contender in the UFC’s middleweight division. His rise to the top received a set back when he fell victim to Ivan Salaverry’s submission skill, tapping out to a triangle choke. With an impressive win over Rob Gimmons at WEC 15, Joe Riggs is ready to get back in the mix of 185 pound contenders. Riggs spoke with MMAWeekly about his loss to Salaverry and his probable next opponent, Matt “The Law” Lindland.
It’s been a couple of months since his loss to Ivan Salaverry. Reflecting back on the fight, Riggs said, “To be honest with you, leading up to the fight I started to get more and more confident. I was starting to think that I was going to finish him in the first round. I went in there, and I thought it was going to be a stand up fight and just got over confident…He shot and ended up getting caught. I mean he had me on the ground. The thing that I need to take out of my is falling in with punches. That’s got to go because Doerksen almost caught me with that…I just get too wound up. I like to bang too much, and get caught in stupid things, but when I got kicked in the face that didn’t hurt at all. It didn’t wobble me or anything like people think. It’s just that I fell right into the triangle. You know? It didn’t hurt. I can’t be hurt like that, but I get caught in triangles…I’ll come back from that. I’m fighting in August again in the show, so I just got to come back from that. I’ve got to make a few wrongs right again.”
There’s no love loss between Joe Riggs and Matt Lindland. The two look to be fighting at UFC 54 on August 20th in a grudge match of sorts. Riggs explained to MMAWeekly his feelings toward Lindland and where they stem from. He stated, “I was supposed to fight in the IFC a while back, the week after the UFC . I got hurt, and I was supposed to fight a guy by the name of Ed Herman. Don’t know anything about him. Anyways, I got hurt and couldn’t fight. This turkey calls me in the middle of the night talking shit…Just talking mad crap to me. I was like whoa, blown away. I wake up in the morning and listen to my answering machine. Somebody gave him my number. I call and flip out on him. Then Matt Lindland calls me. That Chris Elliot looking bastard. So he calls me…He’s woogie. So anyways, he calls me and he’s trying to get me to fight this guy. I was like what’s that going to do for me?”
Riggs continued, “So I’m trying to call Matt Lindland out, throwing little pokes at him. We were going back and forth, just chatter, but you know what? That Matt Lindland guy really chaps my balls that guy. I don’t like that guy, man…I’d love to fight Matt. That’s what I was saying. I was like ‘hey you don’t have an opponent in the August show, maybe me and you.’” He added, “Something about balding old men that doesn’t scare me.”
Further commenting on a fight with Lindland, Joe said, “He’s a tough guy, but like I said, at worst I get taken down. Oh God don’t do that. I mean he’s going to have to come through the hands to get to that, but yeah. That’s a fight where I need to establish myself as one of the top middleweights in the world again. I’m always looking for fights like that.” “Matt’s the fight I want.”
The UFC 54 card is shaping up to be one of the most stacked cards in UFC history. With Liddell defending his title for the first time, Randy Couture’s comeback, Jeremy Horn’s return, and it looks like Joe “Diesel” Riggs and Matt “The Law” Lindland will settle their differences one way or another.