by Ken Pishna
MMAWeekly broke the news that Joe Doerksen is stepping in to fill Joe Riggs’ shoes at UFC 54 and will square off with top-ranked contender Matt Lindland. This is a tremendous opportunity for Doerksen, who has a 1-1 record in his UFC fights. He lost his UFC debut to Riggs and then came back at UFC 52 to submit fellow Canadian Patrick Cote.

Like he did against Cote, Doerksen will be stepping in as a late replacement to face Lindland. Also like the fight with Cote, he isn’t bothered by being called in somewhat late in the game. “I think it’s a great opportunity and I hope to make it an exciting fight for the fans.”

Obviously he’s looking forward to a win as well. “I feel good about this fight,” Doerksen told MMAWeekly. “I think that I have the advantage standing and in submissions.” He’s confident, but realizes that Lindland has his strength as well, “He has better wrestling, but I will be ready and in shape.”

Although Doerksen can’t hold a candle to Lindland’s UFC experience (he’s 8-3 in the UFC, 14-3 overall), it’s not like he’s going into this fight at a disadvantage in the experience department. In fact, Doerksen has more mixed martial arts experience than Lindland does with a very impressive record of 31-6. He has defeated fighters like Lee Murray, John Alessio, Denis Kang, Jay Buck, Brendan Seguin, Chris Leben, Ed Herman, and Art Santore. So it will be interesting to see how he handles a fighter the caliber of Lindland.

A lot of people were looking forward to seeing what Lindland would do with Riggs’ powerful ground and pound attack, but Doerksen brings a whole new dynamic to the fight. With an ever-progressing stand up arsenal and a stellar ground game, Doerksen should give Lindland everything he can handle.