Height: 5'11.5 (182 cm)
Weight: 170 lb (77 kg)
Born: September 23, 1982
Town of Birth: Phoenix, Arizona U.S.
Team/Association: Elite Performance
Fighting Style: Freestyle
Mixed martial arts record:
By knockout 13
By submission 11
No contests 1
Joseph Jahanithin "Diesel" Riggs, born September 23, 1982, is an American mixed martial arts fighter. He has competed at weights ranging from Heavyweight down to Welterweight. Currently Riggs is signed to fight at Middleweight in the Zuffa-owned WEC.
Joe Riggs was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He dreamed of fighting in the UFC since he was 10 years old. He started fighting right after finishing high school, and decided to do it full-time after attending college for a year.
Riggs started boxing as a child with his father. Although Riggs is right handed, he was encouraged by his boxing coach to fight southpaw, making his power hand his lead hand.
He began wrestling at Cactus high school in Glendale, Arizona, following in the footsteps of his hero, Randy Couture, and became an All-American twice. Currently, Riggs also holds a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Second-Dan BJJ black belt, Gustavo Dantas.
Riggs' strength training consists primarily of plyometrics. His weight training is geared to maintain his muscle mass, and consists of squats, deadlifts and cleans. Riggs does a lot of pushups and circuit training.
Riggs credits his success to his knockout power and athleticism. He says that his favorite technique is a right hook.
Over his career, Riggs has fought in the Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Middleweight and Welterweight divisions, and became a four-time Desert Quest champion, two-time Grappler's Quest Advance champion, Rage in the Cage Heavyweight and Middleweight champion, Art of War Heavyweight champion, Evolution Combat Heavyweight champion, and XCF Light Heavyweight champion.
Riggs' dream of fighting in the UFC materialized in 2004, in a winning bout against Canadian fighter Joe Doerksen. Riggs received his shot at the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 56 in November 2005 against Matt Hughes.
Originally, the title shot was offered to Karo Parisyan, who had to withdraw due to a torn hamstring. When Riggs was contacted to take Parisyan's place he jumped at the chance, despite having fought at UFC 55 just a month earlier. However, Riggs did not make the required weight and the fight was declared a non-title event, due to Hughes allowing Riggs to fight him (if a fighter does not make weight for a match, the match may still take place if their opponent allows it). Despite his efforts, Riggs could not mount a significant challenge; Hughes took him down and submitted him with a kimura from half-guard just minutes into the first round of the fight.
Following his loss to Hughes, Riggs rebounded to win against Nick Diaz (decision) at UFC 57. In the hospital room after the fight, Diaz and Riggs got into a physical altercation where they had to be separated by police.
Riggs then moved up to Middleweight to face The Ultimate Fighter alumni Mike Swick. Early in the fight Riggs was caught in a guillotine choke and tapped out. Riggs then fought The Ultimate Fighter 2's Jason Von Flue, submitting him with a triangle choke.
Riggs' last UFC bout was on December 13, 2006 against Welterweight contender Diego Sanchez on at UFC Fight Night 7. Riggs lost the fight due to knockout from a hook followed by a knee in 1:45 of the first round.
Following the fight with Sanchez, Riggs chose to go to the WEC and compete for the vacant Middleweight championship, but had to pull out of the fight the day before because of a recurring back injury.
Most recently, Riggs defeated Eugene Jackson via knockout at Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion.
Joe and his wife, Kim, welcomed a son in the summer of 2006, but he passed away shortly after birth.. Joe and Kim had their first child, Joseph Diesel Riggs on June 28, 2007.  On an episode of The Beatdown on Sherdog.com, Riggs came onto the show. He revealed the fact that he became addicted to painkillers and medication, and had been on it well before his fight with Jason Von Flue. He had been taking as many as twenty painkillers a day, and realized he had a problem "when my doctor prescribed me 120 Oxycontin, and I finished them in five days". When he told his doctor about this, he was told that if he was any other person he (the doctor) would've been pumping his stomach. He is now clean.