UFC and longtime MMA veteran, Joe “Diesel” Riggs, is starring on Bellator’s new reality TV series on Spike TV, ‘Fight Master.’
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
If you’ve been watching Spike TV’s new reality TV series, “Fight Master,” then you probably noticed long-time MMA fighter, Joe “Diesel” Riggs, fighting under the tutelage of Greg Jackson. Riggs (39-14) came into “Fight Master” riding a five-fight win streak, a second wind in a career that has spanned over more than ten years.
Though he is not the oldest cast member on “Fight Master,” Riggs is certainly one of the most experienced fighters of the bunch, with the sheer quantities of fights he’s had, the opponents he has faced, and the organizations under which he has fought. That experience, Riggs explained recently on BJPenn.com Radio, made him a little unsure of his role on the show.
“The big thing is, I don’t know if I was brought in just because I was an old face for one of their up-and-comers to beat,” said Riggs, “or if they were trying to build the show on me; I have no idea. I had no idea going in. By the way… I knew that I was getting a lot of air-time on the show once I was on the show, you know, when I was in the house I was followed around a lot. But it was really- I don’t know, I don’t know if they were thinking about that, because I’m a real humble person in real life. I’m not real arrogant… I, honestly, I felt like f***ing Yoda there. They all listened to my advice even though I was, in terms of age from the youngest to the oldest on the show, I was right in the middle about. But yeah, I felt like I was ten years older than everybody. It was weird.”
Riggs went on to explain that he became the storyteller for the group of fighters, partly because of his wealth of MMA knowledge, and partly from boredom.
“Literally, because we didn’t have s*** to do on the show, so you know, I’d just sit there and tell stories of funny s*** that happened to me, because I have so many stories that… have been so funny in my career with big name fighters that they’re friends with. So I was telling them that, and they loved it. It was good. The other fighters, I’d give them advice, and they were smart enough to listen and not take the abuse and all the bad s*** that comes along with the sport.”
BJPenn.com has already run one of these stories, and Riggs has said he’ll be back on the show to tell more in the coming weeks.
One of the things Riggs said he appreciated about “Fight Master” is that, despite the fighters sometimes goofing around and telling funny stories, the television producers chose not to focus on that. Riggs compared the show to the UFC’s version, “The Ultimate Fighter,” which has been the model for MMA television since the first season aired in 2005.
“I think it’s a lot better… In my opinion, they have better fighters. There are guys… like 6-0, whereas The Ultimate Fighter you have guys like 3-0. So there’s a lot better fighters; and the guys picking their coaches, that’s a lot different. They’re going to reveal something on tonight’s show that’s also a lot different [in terms of] the way the fights are chosen. They’re going to show that. All that’s different, just way different than the UFC and The Ultimate Fighter.
“I thought it was really cool, and also, they don’t really pay attention to the drunkenness of the show. There are guys that didn’t continue on the show, they paid attention to the guys that were still in the show. Because the guys falling around drunk, they’re kind of making a [mockery] of the sport, you know. I forget what [season of] Ultimate Fighter it was, but that f***ing guy with the red mohawk. That guy made me embarrassed for what I do for a living. That guy was an idiot… he had a red mohawk, and he was crying and beating sh*t up… I was so embarrassed to be called a fighter with people watching that show, they think we’re all a bunch of dumb meat-heads like that, and we’re not. That guy. I don’t even know, that guy was probably, you’d never know that guy at the end of the day. I’m sure that Spike, FOX loved it, that guy crying and being all manic and drinking. Obviously the guy’s got to have a massive alcohol problem… Who gives a sh*t what his name is? He’s a f***ing drunk!”
That is not to say that the “Fight Master” crew members went without their own pranks, merely that the producers of the show are not looking for nor promoting that kind of behavior. Nevertheless, Riggs told some stories from the show that are certain to remain un-aired this season.
“There was one time when a camera crew was getting on my nerves. It was probably the fourth or fifth week, and they brought a camera in my room; and I knew the producers were watching downstairs, and they were going to put this on TV. So I go and pull my pants down and start slapping my balls against the camera so they could see it. That’s just me like a monkey just trying to relieve some tension by rubbing my balls [on the camera]. They all come up, ‘God damnit, knock it off!’ I was just trying to have a little fun, because there’s really not sh*t to do.
“There was a funny time where I had come from cutting weight,” Riggs continued with another story. “I talked to one of the producers, I’ll tell you guys because they don’t show this on TV. I’d come from cutting weight, and I take my shorts off- my underwear off- and they’re all stained with sh*t, probably, and whatever, and I threw them in Tim Walsh’s face. It was a perfect shot to the lips. And he peels them off his face, and he wheels them at me, and it hits the camera guy right in the lips. And he went down, talking about throwing up, because they were like saturated with sweat, piss and sh*t. I was cutting weight, so I was sitting there like pissing myself. It was bad. There were some crazy times, but they didn’t really concentrate on that.”
Of course, Riggs is not allowed to give any detail as to his success on the show before it airs. That makes it a little difficult to determine what lies ahead for the 30-year old fighter. He did, however, mention that he had a discussion with UFC matchmaker, Joe Silva, before joining Bellator’s show.
“I had a talk with Joe Silva right before I went for [Fight Master], and it didn’t go as planned. So yeah, it didn’t go as planned, and he said, ‘Go. If you go on the show, you better win the show.’ That’s the last thing he said, so that’s what he said to me. I tried. He told me what they had to offer, and then what Spike had to offer, so I went with them, and now it turned out good. So I’m happy. Bellator’s been really good to me.”
We will just have to wait and see; but it seems that, whether he wins or loses, Riggs has found a home with Bellator for the time being.Tags: Bellator, bellator fight master, BJPenn.Com Radio, BJPennDotCom Radio, Fight Master, joe diesel riggs, Joe Riggs, mma, MMA NEWS, spike tv, spike tv fight master