Phoenix native and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Joe “Diesel” Riggs will headline a stacked STRIKEFORCE Challengers event from Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., when he takes on knockout artist Louis Taylor at a catch weight of 182 pounds in the main event on Friday, Aug. 13, LIVE on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
The event, STRIKEFORCE’s first in the state of Arizona, will also feature a four-woman single elimination welterweight (135 pound) tournament comprised of four female prospects to be announced soon. The tournament will be completed over the course of the evening’s fight card.
The winner of the tournament will likely face the champion of the July 23 STRIKEFORCE Women’s Welterweight Title fight between undefeated, defending champ Sarah Kaufman and challenger Roxanne Modafferi in Everett, Wash., LIVE on SHOWTIME.
Tickets for the Aug. 13 Challengers event will be available beginning Saturday, July 17 at 10 a.m. PT through www.livenation.com, www.STRIKEFORCE.com, the Dodge Theatre Box Office, any Ticketmaster outlet or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
A former super heavyweight who once competed at over 300 pounds, the 27-year-old Riggs (32-12) is now a dangerous threat in multiple STRIKEFORCE divisions. He holds the rare distinction of having competed at heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight during the course of his eight-year career.
A former UFC star, Riggs holds notable victories over STRIKEFORCE Welterweight champ Nick Diaz, Kendall Grove, Chris Lytle and “The N.Y. Badass” Phil Baroni. He is coming off a controversial unanimous decision loss to streaking, former world champ Jay Hieron at STRIKEFORCE: Miami on Jan. 30, 2010.
Prior to the loss to Hieron, the 6-foot Riggs tallied up four consecutive wins including an impressive unanimous decision victory over Baroni at STRIKEFORCE: Lawler vs. Shields on June 6, 2010 in St. Louis, Mo.
Taylor (6-1), of Chicago, has rattled off two consecutive knockout wins since his first career loss to Nate Moore on the undercard of the STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL: Fedor vs. Rogers event in Hoffman Estates, Ill. on Nov. 7, 2009.
The 5-foot-11 Taylor has scored knockouts in four of his six consecutive victories and has only gone to the judges scorecards once in his professional career.