Misaki-Riggs Leads Off Strikeforce's "Playboy" Return

By Sherdog.com Staff Aug 11, 2008
Kazuo Misaki (Pictures) (20-8-2) will return to U.S. soil to face Joe "Diesel" Riggs (Pictures) (28-10) in a middleweight matchup at Strikeforce “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” on Sept. 20 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The bout is the first of ten to be announced for the San Jose-based promotion’s second affair at the world-famous Playboy Mansion.

Misaki, the 2006 Pride Fighting Championship Grand Prix winner, holds key victories over former Pride welterweight and light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson (Pictures) and American Top Team standout Denis Kang (Pictures). The studied 32-year-old Grabaka fighter bested WEC veteran Logan Clark (Pictures) on the cards at Sengoku “Third Battle” last June in Saitama, Japan.

Battling with persistent back injuries and surgery over the last year, Arizona native Riggs submitted Matt Dempsey in front of his hometown crowd at Rage in the Cage 112 on July 26. A power puncher by trade, eight-time UFC veteran Riggs holds noted victories over Chris Lytle (Pictures) and Nick Diaz (Pictures).

This will mark Riggs’ second appearance at the storied Playboy venue. Last September, the 25-year-old impressively silenced veteran fighter Eugene Jackson (Pictures) with strikes in the first round of their featured bout.
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