Bellator MMA is closing the book on the Joe Riggs comeback story ... but only temporarily.
"Diesel" suffered a detached retina following a partial orbital bone fracture in training camp, sending the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight into eye surgery. That means Riggs will not be able to compete in this Saturday night's (Sept. 7, 2013) "Fight Master" finale at Bellator 98 from Mohegan Sun.
SI.com has it straight from the horse's mouth:
"My sparring partner threw a high kick and I blocked it, but his toe went through my head gear. I was in horrible pain and they had to pry my eye open to see the damage. I can be ready [to fight] in October or [on] Nov. 2, if they need me."
The promotion is expected to reschedule his bout against Mike Bronzoulis before year's end, according to the report.
At just 30 years old, Riggs has nearly 60 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights to his name, along with notable victories over former UFC contenders Chris Lytle and Nick Diaz. He once beat the tar out of longtime referee Herb Dean back in 2003.
"Diesel" is currently riding a five-fight winning streak on the regional circuit -- all finishes -- and blasted his way through the Spike TV reality show (under the tutelage of Greg Jackson) to reach Saturday night's live finale. The good news is, Riggs has already been cleared to resume training.
Perhaps we might see him on the upcoming "Rampage vs. Tito" pay-per-view (PPV) event?