UFC Fight Night 51 is shaping up as a card for MMA nostalgics, as we learned today that Paulo Thiago will now face UFC old schooler Joe Riggs. Mike Rhodes was originally scheduled to face the tough nosed Brazilian on his home turf, but has been injured and scratched from the card. Riggs’ last appearance for the UFC was a crushing KO loss to Diego Sanchez in 2006.
‘Diesel’ holds notable wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, Herb Dean (seriously), Joe Doerksen, and Kendall Grove among others. He was also one half of the notorious hospital brawl with Nick Diaz after their UFC 57 three rounder, and was last seen competing under the Bellator banner. A massive underdog in the Viacom series ‘Bellator Fight Master’, ‘Diesel’ defeated Mike Bronzoulis at Bellator 106 last November to win the show’s inaugural reality show.
Riggs goes up against Thiago in a must win bout for the Brazilian, as he has lost six of his last eight, and was last seen getting decisioned by Gasan Umalatov at The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 finals in May of this year. Sportv.globo posted the news of Riggs vs. Thiago this morning.
Also adding to the nostalgia in September will be Andrei Arlovski, as he goes up against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in a rematch of their 2010 Strikeforce meeting. After a disappointing decision win against Brendan Schaub at UFC 174, ‘The Pitbull’ looks to get back on track against ‘Bigfoot’, who returns from a nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone levels. Here is how the UFC Fight Night 51 card is shaping up so far:
Antonio Silva vs. Andrei Arlovski
Sergio Moraes vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Leonardo Santos vs. ?ukasz Sajewski
George Sullivan vs. Igor Araujo
Jessica Andrade vs. Valerie Letourneau
Francisco Trinaldo vs. Efrain Escudero
Paulo Thiago vs. Joe Riggs
Rani Yahya vs. Johnny Bedford