In a middleweight matchup, former UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs will be making his second-ever appearance on a Playboy show after defeating Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson on last year’s card.
His opponent will be PRIDE, K-1 HERO’s, and Sengoku veteran Kazuo Misaki.
This will be the 25-year old Riggs’ third-ever fight under the Strikeforce banner. After debuting at last year’s Playboy show, he competed against Cory Devela during “Strikeforce at the Dome” in Tacoma, Wash. on February 23. Riggs was forced to verbally submit soon after the fight commenced after his back went out.
Riggs returned to action last month on a regional show in Arizona, where he submitted Matt Dempsey in the second round. He has indicated that his back is 100 percent healed but that this will be his last fight competing at 185 pounds.
“I’m dropping to 170 pounds and gonna jump into the top 10 in that division,” Riggs is quoted as saying in a press release issued by Strikeforce late Sunday night to announce the fight.
Misaki is ranked as a top-ten middleweight by several major websites and has an overall MMA record of 20-8-2, according to Sherdog’s fight finder.
He has won two consecutive fights having submitted Siyar Bahadurzada during Sengoku’s first show this past March and then returning to the promotion in June and recording a unanimous decision over WEC veteran Logan Clark.
“I am looking forward to making my debut for Strikeforce at The Playboy Mansion, an incredible venue that is well-known throughout the world,” Misaki is quoted as saying in the press release. “Joe Riggs is a tremendous competitor. His style is aggressive like mine so I have no doubt that our fight will be an exciting and memorable one.”