UFC fighter Joe Riggs’s return to the Octagon delayed after he accidentally shot himself


Joe Riggs. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Taking a page from Plaxico Burress’ book, mixed martial arts fighter Joe Riggs accidentally shot himself. Unlike Burress, however, he didn’t commit a nightclub pop. Instead, Riggs’s gun went off in the privacy of his own home while he was cleaning it. The shot injured his hand and upper thigh, according to a UFC.com.

The accident certainly puts a damper on Riggs’s career. The 31-year-old was set to return to the Octagon on Sept. 13 for UFC Fight Night 51, where he was booked to fight Paolo Thiago. This would’ve been Riggs’s first UFC fight in eight years and he was understandably excited about it.

However now, as Riggs recovers in an Arizona hospital, Texas welterweight prospect 27-year-old Sean Spencer verbally agreed to replace Riggs in the bout against Thiago, according to UFC.com. Spencer is the one who’s excited now.

Here’s the current card for UFC Fight Night 51, according to MMAJunkie.com:

  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Antonio Silva
  • Piotr Hallmann vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Lukasz Sajewski vs. Leonardo Santos
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Igor Araujo vs. George Sullivan
  • Jessica Andrade vs. Valerie Letourneau
  • Dashon Johnson vs. Godofredo Pepey
  • Efrain Escudero vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Sean Spencer vs. Paulo Thiago
  • Johnny Bedford vs. Rani Yahya
Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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