Saturday, June 06, 2009

Riggs to Go Through Baroni to Get to Shields

Originally posted on

Joe Riggs vs. Phil Baroni promises fireworks inside the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Saturday at the Strikeforce promoted event to air on Showtime.

It's been more than six months since Riggs last competed and the 26-year-old veteran mixed martial artist is eager to get back in action.

"I haven't fought since November. My hand has been ready to go since January. I can't wait. I really can't wait," Riggs told "It's been too long. After my last fight, I wanted to keep active like I used to be and then I got sidelined for awhile with an injury, so I'm ready to go."

He was originally slated to take on Jake Shields, but the fight fell through when Shields accepted a catchweight bout with No. 2 ranked middleweight Robbie Lawler instead, resulting in Riggs signing to fight Baroni.

Discussing the change in opponent, Riggs said, "It's an easier opponent. It's going to be a lot more exciting of a fight. A lot more people are probably excited about this one than me and Shields."

When the bout agreements were signed between Riggs and Baroni, the banter between the two was respectful, but that quickly changed.

"I think he's just trying to talk himself into it. I think he doubts himself a lot. He's getting older and trying to talk himself into it. That's my opinion. That's what I think he's doing," proclaimed Riggs. "He runs his mouth quite a bit, especially at the press conference he was yapping off at the mouth.

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