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UFC veteran Joe ‘Diesel’ Riggs makes boxing debut on Fight Pass, May 23

The 36-year-old MMA fighter will come to pro boxing in Arizona.

UFC Fight Night Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

The next Roy Jones Jr-promoted boxing show on UFC Fight Pass is coming on Thursday, May 23, live from Tucson, Arizona, and will feature a special attraction of sorts for fight fans of all stripes.

36-year-old UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs will make his pro boxing debut on the show. The Phoenix-based battler is a former WEC middleweight (185 pounds) with a career record of 47-18 in mixed martial arts, and 5-7 in UFC. He made his UFC debut at UFC 49 in 2004, and fought regularly for the company from 2005-2006, and then again from 2014-16. His last UFC fight came in Feb. 2016, a 26-second TKO loss to Chris Camozzi on knee strikes.

Over the years, he’s fought the likes of Matt Hughes, Nick Diaz, and Diego Sanchez. He also competed in Strikeforce and Bellator, among many other promotions.

Riggs isn’t likely to make any serious run in boxing, to say the least — he’s a little old for that, but it’s something he’s going to give a shot. He’s done organized bare knuckle boxing before, and, well:

If you don’t have the time or desire to watch the fight, Riggs takes about 40 seconds before he picks his opponent up and slams him onto the canvas, and then pretty much immediately throws an elbow after the fight resumes from that. He does get the win in the fight.

After the fight, Riggs explained, “It was pretty scary. I was nervous. I shot and took him down when he hit me with a jab and it stunned me.” Riggs said it was just a natural reaction for him.

Riggs will be facing David Damore (1-6-3, 0 KO) in a four-round cruiserweight fight to open the UFC Fight Pass stream. Damore, 34, has lost five straight dating back to 2015, including a UD-4 loss to Marsellos Wilder in December.

The RJJ Boxing show will be headlined by a 10-round lightweight fight between Ikram Kerwat (9-1, 5 KO) and Simone Da Silva (15-12, 6 KO), for the WBC silver title. The rest of the lineup:

  • Max Ornelas (12-0-1, 4 KO) vs Alex Rangel (17-9, 4 KO), bantamweights, 8 rounds
  • Alfonso Olvera (11-5-2, 4 KO) vs Carlos Villa (14-3-1, 6 KO), welterweights, 6 rounds
  • Nicholas Rhoads (5-0, 2 KO) vs Eduardo Ayala (4-0, 1 KO), middleweights, 4 rounds

Off-stream, Kazakh junior middleweight Madiyar Ashkeyev (11-0, 6 KO) will face Cecil McCalla (21-3, 8 KO), which is probably a more interesting fight than...all the rest of these, but it is what it is.

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