‘The Diesel,’ Joe Riggs, and Nick Diaz exchanged words in the days leading up to their UFC 57: ‘Liddell vs Couture 3′ slugfest. They sparred verbally at the elevators, at the weigh-ins, after the weigh-ins, before, during, and after their fight. They went three rounds in the octagon and had an unsanctioned fourth round at a Las Vegas hospital. Riggs recently spoke with MMAWeekly Radio about his battle with Nick Diaz, both in and out of the octagon.
MMAWeekly: Joe, first of all, I want to first congratulate you because I thought you looked good at 170. Watching it on television is one thing, but sitting ringside and hearing the power shots you landed on Nick Diaz’ face was just wow.
Joe Riggs: Yea. It was good.
MMAWeekly: Talk about his fight. It was a very entertaining fight and a good way to kick off the pay-per-view. How did you see it?
Riggs: It was good man. I haven’t seen the fight yet. I was going to watch it today, but it felt good. I got pretty tired, so I wasn’t good. I was just really surprised that he took so many shots. It was a little discouraging.
MMAWeekly: How frustrated were you because you were just popping him?
Riggs: Dude. That guy, like when I fought Cabbage, I was wailing on his face like that, but that’s Cabbage man. I hit Diaz hard a lot of times, and it didn’t seem to hurt him until the third round. I don’t know man. He’s tough. I mean, I don’t like the bastard, but he’s a tough guy.
MMAWeekly: You get this win. It was a tough, tough fight. 170, do you still want to fight at 170? What are you going to do now?
Riggs: I don’t know man. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’ll have to sit down and talk to Billy [Rush] and see what we want to do, but it’s so hard for me cutting the weight. I was in great shape. I was in great shape for that fight, but I gassed out because of the weight cutting probably.
MMAWeekly: Go to 185 bro. 170 kills you.
Riggs: I know man. I know. People say that my power is lost. That is true. I’m not as strong, but I don’t know. You’re probably right. I’ll be wrestling back and forth with this for a couple of weeks.
MMAWeekly: So you fight, and you have to go to the hospital and get checked out. What the heck happened at the hospital man?
Riggs: Lets clear things up here. Everyone keeps saying that he knocked me out at the hospital. That’s bullshit.
MMAWeekly: You go to the hospital, take us through this entire situation. You were getting checked out or what? What happened?
Riggs: I was just getting my hands checked out from beating his head so many times. They separated us at the hospital because he keeps talking crap, just going back and forth. He won’t shut up.
MMAWeekly: Were you in the waiting room, or where you actually in a room?
Riggs: We were like going to get a room, and like he is always popping off, talking smack. I go down toward his end of the hospital to find a doctor so he could watch me pee in a cup for the boxing commission, and he comes talking smack. I’m like, go back to the WEC. You’re bush league. You just got beat up. That’s two in a row. You’re out. I was just standing around talking sh#t to him. He was like, that’s it, and comes out of his room. I had my hands down. He starts coming up to me. I just never in a million years thought he’d throw a punch. He threw a right hook and hit me right in the chin. I mean it hit me right on the button. I seriously can’t say that I was knocked out, but I kind of went down to a knee. Then we just fought and scrambled. I put him against the wall and just Thai clinched and started kneeing the sh#t out of him. His nose was bleeding. I kept kneeing him, and they broke us up. That’s all that happened.
MMAWeekly: You had an IV in your arm while all of this was happening?
Riggs: Yea. I had an IV going. My blood was spraying everywhere. It was like a horror movie. I’m kneeing him and telling his brother, I’m like, come get your brother off of me. He was like, nothing I can do, man. No. His brother, that guy is an idiot, just hanging off his ball sack like a barnacle. I swear to God, I thought he was all for show. Nick Diaz is legitimately nuts. He’s crazy.
MMAWeekly: That is nuts.
Riggs: It was crazy man. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. That guy is fricken nuts man. After that, he keeps jawing and talking more crap. I’m like, oh my God dude. I guess Cesar Gracie is telling everybody that we squared up and started throwing down and he knocked me unconscious, and we had to pay them to get him off me, or something like that. I don’t know
MMAWeekly: Who stopped this thing because I’m sure the hospital is tripping?
Riggs: Yea. They were squealing. There was this fat lady going Waa, Waa. It was hilarious. This black security guard, a real big dude separated us.
MMAWeekly: That is unbelievable. That’s nuts.
Riggs. Yea. It is nuts man.
MMAWeekly: You fight for three rounds and then you bang it out at the hospital?
Riggs: Yea. I was done. My hands hurt so bad. I hit him in the forehead too. I was tired of hitting him man. I had to hit him again and I was like I don’t want to do it any more. He wasn’t done. He wanted to go a couple of more man. He was getting his stitches. He was getting stitched up and he comes flying out there. God. Dude. That is so unprofessional. There is no way he should ever be allowed to fight back in the UFC. That’s what I would say . . . I had never met him before this weekend, so I wasn’t talking smack in any interviews and stuff like that. I see him down at the fights and he is like, are you going to make weight? Are you going to make weight this time? I’m like, you better f#%king hope not. We’re just going back and forth. I never met him before in my life, and he starts talking crap right off the bat.
MMAWeekly: This entire week was crazy. I know you guys had words in the lobby, and then I know at the weigh-ins you were getting ready to step on the scales and you guys are just jawing back and forth.
Riggs: It was nuts. I was going upstairs. I was going upstairs to go take a pee. I look over and he’s right in my face. I was like, here it goes. I’ve never been in a situation like that before. I mean unprovoked. I don’t know man.
MMAWeekly: At the urinal, and he is staring you down?
Riggs: Yea. He was staring at my dong. I don’t know what he was staring at. The guy is nuts. I hope I never see that guy again.
MMAWeekly: Diaz landed a nice shot on you in the first round, how hurt was you in that fight?
Riggs: I had just got stitches out of my eye before. I cut myself a few times before the fight, and he head-butted it and opened it up a little bit. Other than that, he didn’t land too many punches.
MMAWeekly: Joe, what do you do now as far as your career goes? If you had to make a decision today, would it be at 185 or would it be at 170?
MMAWeekly: I like 185 a lot better for you.
Riggs: I went down to 170, gave it a shot, beat a couple of tough guys down there, and now I’ll go up to 185 and see what’s next. You know it’s going to be me and fat-headed Leben. That is who it’s going to be because Joe [Silva] was just talking about that fight.
MMAWeekly: Hold on Riggs. You just got done fighting Diaz and talking about how big of a mouth he has. You just said you should go up to 185. You just now said you’re thinking about it. You’re automatically calling Leben a fat-head.
Riggs: He’s got a fat head . . . He’s a tough fighter. I’ve met him before. He’s a nice guy, but he’s got a fat head. There is not getting around that.
MMAWeekly: So you think you’ll be fighting Leben next?
Riggs: I think that is a very good possibility. Who knows? I think that’s a fight that people want to see. That’s a fight that is fun man. Who knows? We could see that, and there are a lot of options. We’ll see . . . I hope Joe Silva doesn’t get mad at me for bringing that up.
MMAWeekly: That’s okay. We’re pushing for it anyway. I don’t care if the fight has not been talked about . . . What a weird week for you, but you got the win. Those power shots were pretty amazing to sit there ringside and hear them. Congratulations. Great win for you. You were in a must win situation.
Riggs: I’m back.
MMAWeekly: Congratulations. You’re back. You got a nice win and we’re looking forward to seeing you, we’re pushing for Leben in May. We’ll work it out.
Riggs: Sounds good guys.
MMAWeekly: All right Diesel. Talk to you.