Thursday, November 20, 2008

8countnews' Interview with Joe Diesel Riggs

Originally posted on

Joe Riggs dreamed of being a fighter pretty much his whole life. As a kid, his dad taught him to box south paw so that he would have big power in his lead hand. Joe wrestled in high school becoming a two-time All-American like his idol Randy Couture. At 26 years of age Joe's already accomplished much in mixed martial arts having fought title fights in the UFC and held titles in various weight classes in numerous other organizations. Perhaps one of his greatest claims to fame is being one of a very small group to compete in heavyweight, light heavyweight, middle weight and welter weight divisions at various times. Joe was once a really heavy heavyweight tipping the scales at 310 pounds. This is nearly impossible to believe when you see a ripped 170 pound fighter take to the cage in as a current welter weight. Joe, with his moniker Diesel tattooed across his stomach, will enter the last fight of his contract with Strike Force this Friday night as he faces Luke Stewart. Joe stopped just days before the fight to talk with 8countnews.

8countnews: Tell us about your camp for this upcoming fight with Luke Stewart.

Joe Riggs: Man, I've had a great camp and I've been doing a lot of sparring at my boxing gym. I've got two Brazilian black belts to roll with me daily. I can't even speak to the guys. All they speak is Portuguese, but they are great training partners. So, yeah, I'm sparring as much as possible and trying to let my hands go. I'm just trying to get focused and doing life.

8countnews: We know Luke is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, but what else do you know about him and what are you preparing for in him?

Joe Riggs: Luke's got decent hands. He throws straight punches. But, I have a lot better wrestling than he does and I'm bigger and stronger. Luke's a tough guy. I haven't been working on more Jitsu than I normally do. I just have to stick with what I always do. It's so much more about being mentally prepared. It's all about how well I put it together. I feel really strong for this fight. So, we'll see.

8countnews: Joe, we hear fighters talk about the mental aspect of a fight all the time, but few explain that. Can you help us understand what that means for you?

Joe Riggs: I like to think through all aspects of the fight. I visualize the whole process. I see myself through it all. I visualize from the walk down all the way through the fight. I need to see things to know my mind is ready. Sparring is huge mental preparation for me as much as it is physical. I'm a lot more apt to do what I need to do, such as my stand up, when my mind is used to going through that that process.

8countnews: This is your last fight on your Strike Force contract. What's up next? Have you started renegotiating with them or have talked with the UFC about coming back?

Joe Riggs: Yeah, we're looking at the UFC and at Strike Force. Strike Force is great. I wish they promoted me a little more than they do, but other than that they're great. Strike Force is a really solid show. If things work out in renegotiations here, I will stay with Strike Force. If not, maybe we will talk with the UFC. First of all, I need to win this fight this weekend. I need to bring some weight into my next contract.

8Count News: So, there's plenty of money to be made in a promotion like Strike Force, you don't necessarily have to go to the UFC to do well financially?

Joe Riggs: I make more with Strike Force than I ever did with UFC, not considering the Fight of the Night bonuses I usually got with them. Strike Force treats you very well, bottom line.

8countnews: I know you are close with the Couture camp and have trained some at Xtreme Couture, what did you think of Randy's fight with Lesnar and did you predict the outcome?

Joe Riggs: I did see it coming. I felt like Brock was too big of an athlete. I hoped in my heart that it wouldn't happen. I've looked up to Randy since I got into the sport. He's my idol. He's a special human being inside and out. When I saw the first round happen, I thought Randy may actually win. I don't think Brock is a fighter. You could see it in his eyes. When he got cut, he didn't like that. He started breathing hard. When you know fighters, you can see it in someone. I feel like if Randy hadn't got caught like he did with that punch behind the ear, he may have could have pulled it out. It sucks. I wish Randy would have won. I really do.

Click here to read the entire article at



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home