Phoenix, Arizona – The match between UFC fight champion Paul Thiago scheduled for September 15 has been changed. Thiago will still be fighting that night, but he will now be facing American Paul Spencer instead of Joe Riggs, This is because Riggs took himself out of the competition by shooting himself in the leg. The incident happened earlier this past Sunday. Riggs is a legal gun owner and was cleaning his handgun. Unfortunately, the seasoned gun owner made a rookie mistake by not realizing it still had a round inside the chamber when he set about performing the cleaning maintenance. The end result is one which he’ll long remember.
ESPN confirmed the 31-year-old took a round in the upper thigh of his left leg. Had the injury not occurred, Riggs would be preparing for his return to the Ultimate Fight Competition (UFC) for the first time since 2006. His career took a downturn in recent years with Riggs largely treated as a has-been. However, his paid his dues on the reality TV competition “Fight Master” where his string of victories garnered the attention of UFC fight promoters. An official statement by the UFC acknowledged the tragic accident and stated that Riggs will be welcomed back to the octagon as soon as has fully recovered.
Speaking to his fans, Riggs assured them the gunshot wound was no big deal and that he’ll return to fighting shape in no time. That said, it isn’t clear that he will be able to continue fighting. Sadly, Riggs was training hard for his big comeback. He was the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Middleweight Champion back in 2005. After that win, his fight performance became unpredictable. However, his fortunes turned around and since 2011 he has been on a six match win-streak. This culminated with his signing up with the UFC just days before his accident.