Strikeforce Releases Villasenor, Riggs


Joey Villasenor: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com


Strikeforce has parted ways with Joey Villasenor and Joe Riggs.

Five Ounces of Pain first reported the pair's release from the promotion on Wednesday night, and Sherdog confirmed the report with Strikeforce officials early Thursday morning.

Villasenor has recently suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, dropping bouts to Danillo Villefort and Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Prior to those defeats, the 35-year-old was riding a four-fight winning streak, earning victories over notables Phil Baroni and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos in that span.

A Pride Fighting Championships veteran, “Smokin' Joe” contended for the defunct EliteXC middleweight championship in 2007, losing by TKO to Murilo "Ninja" Rua at Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Baroni.”

An eight-time UFC veteran, Riggs began his career in 2001, fighting as a heavyweight. “Diesel” made the cut to 205 pounds in 2004 and then to middleweight later that year. The 28-year-old now cycles between stints at middleweight and welterweight and has won six of his last seven fights.

His only loss in during that stretch came to Jay Hieron at Strikeforce “Miami” in 2010. The Elite Performance fighter has won back-to-back fights, earning stoppage victories over Louis Taylor at Strikeforce “Challengers 10” and Trent Thorne at King of the Cage 48, respectively.

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