Who would punch somebody at a hospital?
That's what former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight and current Bellator "Fight Master" contestant Joe Riggs wanted to know when reflecting back on his legendary hospital brawl against Nick Diaz, which took place after the pair went toe-to-toe at the UFC 57: "Liddell vs. Couture 3" pay-per-view (PPV) event back in Feb. of 2006.
"Diesel" talks about their impromptu afterparty with SI.com:
"He knocked half of my tooth out. I saw it flying out and all I could think about was my wedding rehearsal I had to go to. Thank God it turned out only to be my molar. We were in close quarters, grabbing onto each other, almost like in a clinch. My hands were broken, I couldn't hit [him], so I was trying to knee him. I managed to get in some elbows. He had a gash on his hairline. His nose was bleeding. I get back home and the first thing I hear is that Nick knocked me out in the hospital. I couldn't even enjoy the win. He knocked me down. I'll give him that, but I wasn't looking his way and didn't expect it. He's f-----g crazy. Who would punch somebody at a hospital? I wouldn't. That guy's nuts."
Riggs defeated Diaz (at UFC 57) by way of unanimous decision.
Not surprisingly, Diaz was already hot under the collar following the event, convinced he had done more than his opponent after 15 minutes of fisticuffs. Furthermore, he insists it was Riggs who started the hospital melee after making a move.
"He started that shit dude. I was like 'Come over here then if you want some, bitch. You can't see me you fucking pussy.' So he started walking towards me and threw his hands up so he took an ass whooping. I told him he was gonna get smacked if he came over. He kept saying 'Get your brother! Get your brother!' My brother was standing right there, we could have jumped him, but we're not like that. I ain't no bitch and I ain't no punk and I don't want to be a poor sport but I feel like I won that fight. I'm definitely better than that guy."
The truth probably lies somewhere in between those two points.
Both fighters would eventually find themselves competing under the Strikeforce banner, but never had the opportunity to settle their longstanding score. If and when they do, all we can hope for is that they end up at separate health care facilities following the event.