A previously announced rematch bout between Joe Riggs (30-10 MMA, 3-2 Strikeforce) and Nick Diaz (20-7 MMA, 2-0 Strikeforce) has now taken on a new meaning: it will be for the first ever Strikeforce welterweight title.
The news of the recently created welterweight title came in a report on MMAWeekly.com and FiveOuncesofPain.com has recently confirmed the championship match-up with sources close to both fighters. An official announcement from the Strikeforce promotion is expected soon.
Riggs and Diaz first met back in 2006 at UFC 57 where Riggs pulled out the unanimous decision victory. In an infamous situation, both fighters were brought to the hospital in Las Vegas to be examined after the bout and continued their brawl. Needless to say, the bad blood between this two is real and can only have grown over the past three years.
Since his departure from the UFC, Riggs has gone 5-2 in fights outside of the organization. Riggs’s latest victory was a unanimous decision over Phil Baroni at a recent Strikeforce event. Since departing the UFC, “Diesel” has made the cut down to 170 pounds from 185.
Diaz, arguably the most controversial MMA fighter on the planet, has also seen a great deal of success and development outside of the UFC. He has most recently had two very dominant performances with victories over Scott Smith and MMA legend Frank Shamrock. Diaz boasts a 6-1 (with one No Decision) record in his past eight bouts.
The lone “no decision” came after the Nevada State Athletic Commission overturned an initial submission victory over Takanori Gomi. In the post fight drug tests, Diaz had tested positive for Marijuana at astonishing levels. So much so that the commission concluded that Diaz must have been under the influence of the drug during the fight.
Diaz vs. Riggs II takes place at “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” on August15. The event will be held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The addition of Diaz/Riggs makes for four title fights on the card: Gina Carano vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (Women’s 145-pound title), Champion Josh Thomson vs. Gilbert Melendez (world lightweight title), Champion Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum (world heavyweight title).