Friday, January 18, 2008

Joe Riggs vs. Joey Villasenor at March 29 Strikeforce Event

Originally Posted by MMA Junkie on January 18, 2008 at 11:59 am ET
Strikeforce and EliteXC’s joint March 29 event, which features a headline bout between Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and Cung Le, will also include a main-card fight between Joe Riggs (27-9) and Joey Villasenor (24-6)

Villasenor’s camp recently alerted ( of the bout, which is expected to be finalized in the next few days.

“Strikeforce/EliteXC: Shamrock vs. Cung Le” takes place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The event will air on Showtime.

The 25-year-old Riggs debuted with the UFC in 2004 and tallied a 4-4 record in the organization. However, after a December 2006 loss to Diego Sanchez, UFC executives wanted to transition Riggs into the WEC, the UFC’s sister promotion. Instead, he left the organization and signed a non-exclusive deal with Strikeforce.

Riggs posted a first-round submission victory over Dan Chambers in a July Hardcore Championship Fighting event and a first-round knockout of Eugene Jackson at the Strikeforce’s September show at the Playboy Mansion.

He was expected to compete this past weekend at a World Cagefighting Organization show in California, but the California State Athletic Commission shut down the event just hours before the show was set to start. However, it could have been a blessing in disguise for Riggs. As guest columnist Ken Pavia reported, Riggs was involved in a car accident the day before the event. And according to a family member who spoke to, Riggs suffered some rib injuries in the collision. However, he should be healed in time for his upcoming fight.

He’ll now take on Villasenor, a former King of the Cage middleweight champion who earned a ticket to Japan with the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championship after posting a 15-fight win streak. After a victory over David Loiseau in EliteXC’s first-ever show, the Team Jackson fighter earned a shot at EliteXC’s vacant middleweight title against Murilo “Ninja” Rua but suffered a second-round TKO.

Villasenor bounced back for a split-decision victory over Riki Fukuda at EliteXC’s September “Uprising” event.



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