Joe Riggs believes it his his ultimate quest to become a champion.
Riggs can move one step closer to achieving that accomplishment with a win over Brok Weaver at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 3: The Takeover.
The event takes place October 20 on pay-per-view with Sam Shewmaker and Arnold Adams meeting in the finals of the heavyweight tournament.
Riggs will be making his bare knuckle debut after an MMA career that spans almost 50 fights, including action for the UFC.
“I’ve been destined to be a champion since I was a little kid. It took me a long time to grow up as both a man and a fighter. But I’ve finally put it all together, and my body is still right and working well,” Riggs said. “So, this is the time for me to make the switch to BKFC and hopefully go for a BKFC belt. I really enjoy bare knuckle fighting. I’ve fought in a lot of different disciplines and this is a great fit for me.
“It’s also really cool to be a part of the organization that hosted the first legitimate and regulated bare knuckle fights in the U.S. in more than a hundred years. To participate in the revival of this ancient sport is an honor.”
For a veteran of combat sports, the chance to step inside the ring and compete without gloves has Riggs excited.
“I was bred to be a fighter, regardless of the discipline. Bare knuckle fighting just forces me to use my superior striking. I can box really well. It’s something I’ve been doing for many years, so my stand-up game is excellent,” he said. “The main thing that I’m focusing on in camp is working to strengthen my core. I also throw certain punches a little differently in training than if I were in a real fight. We’re also trying to be careful with body shots, like punches to the liver. But my conditioning is great and I’m pushing that harder and harder recently.”
There is concern, though, for the kind of impact it can place on his hands, as Riggs added “I think the two biggest concerns with bare knuckle are hurting my hands or getting cut easier and we’re obviously working on ways to avoid that.”
Riggs has studied his opponent, along with BKFC bouts featuring Kendall Grove and Joey Beltran, to prepare for his debut.
“I watched a few of Weaver’s recent fights. He looks like he throws fast punches and is a tough guy,” Riggs said. “My bottom line is that I never want to overlook anyone. I’ve made that mistake in the past and paid the price for it. But I definitely don’t think Weaver can beat me. We’re both professional fighters though, and we’ll see what happens on October 20.”