Archive for the ‘Jeremiah Riggs’ Category
After dominating WWE Tough Enough two years ago Jeremiah Riggs never made it to the WWE. Tired of politics and dealing with yes men who kissed ass to get ahead Riggs walked away from wrestling and transitioned back into MMA where he was riding a five fight win streak with wins on Bellator and Strikeforce cards. After two disappointing losses last year on televised Bellator cards Riggs insists he isn’t going anywhere. We caught up with “Big Rig” and found out what he’s been up to lately.
What have you been up to?
Man, I’ve been working back home and healing up some old injuries.
Didn’t you hurt your knee in your last fight?
Yeah, I had tweaked it in my training camp and I aggravated it during the fight. I have taken some time off to heal it but I’m looking forward to getting back in there and showing Bellator what’s up.
What are your thoughts on the Tiller fight?
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WWE Tough Enough star and MMA fighter Jeremiah Riggs competed at Bellator 70 last weekend in New Orleans. Riggs lost due to a controversial ref stoppage but will be back later this summer for the promotion. Check out Riggs hanging out and getting ready for his big fight.
HIYW caught up with Jeremiah Riggs earlier today and talked to him about what he’s been doing since he was on WWE Tough Enough this Spring. What started out as a routine interview quickly became a platform for Riggs to get everything off his chest about what’s been going on with his attempt at becoming a WWE Superstar.
I was informed yesterday that the WWE isn’t going to use me.
Two weeks ago I was invited to go to Tampa to tryout for FCW and from what they gathered they loved my personality but they said I was only average in the ring and said I have a bad attitude and carried myself like I had something to prove. I told them that if I’m average I’m doing pretty damn good considering I had only done this for two months. If I can get to average in several weeks imagine what I can do in a few months. And of course I’m eager to prove myself. I was surrounded by guys who had done this for several years and they were all wondering who this new rookie was. I had to show them I belonged.
If I’m average the pecking order starts behind me. Compared to me none of those guys are as cut up as me. My physique puts them to shame. Maybe I do have a bad attitude. I don’t give a f–k. I went on their TV show and ran circles around everybody with no experience. Andy wasn’t the star of the show. I was. Hell I won challenges they didn’t even show on TV. I got all the camera time and I got the biggest reaction when I was on RAW. You know why? It’s because I’m me. I’m not a clone or a sell out. People recognize that. That’s why CM Punk is so hot right now. He is his character. He’s just being himself. But I do it and I have a bad attitude.
John Morrison was there at FCW and he walked up to me and shook my hand and told me that he thought I won the show. Just about all the guys said that. Ted DiBiase told me I won it too. His dad, the Million Dollar Man asked me why I wasn’t on TV. John Cena even tweeted me saying he thought I won.
The third day I was there I was doing promos and the only direction I got was to have fun with it and they would send it up to Vince for him to see. One guy did a promo about having sex with a goat and one of the girls was really nasty with hers so I went out there with all guns blazing. I cussed on my first one and said I wish Vince McMahon would’ve slapped me because I would’ve kicked him in the nuts. They pulled me aside and told me I couldn’t cuss. So on my next one I decided to really have fun with it. I didn’t cuss but I did a promo about how I couldn’t cuss and counted on my hand how many words I wasn’t allowed to say as I said them to myself then threw the mic over my shoulder and laughed as I walked off. I thought it was hilarious. All the boys did too. Just about everyone there told me they had never seen anything like that. I was doing crazy CM Punk stuff before he made it cool.
After that I got called to the back and Dusty Rhodes jumped on me and told me I couldn’t do that and chewed me out. He went to walk away and I told him to get back over here because I wasn’t done talking to him. He walked back over and I thought he was going to piss in his pants because he was acting so nervous. I told him that I would do whatever they wanted me to do but no one said I couldn’t cuss or throw the mic. I was just having fun with it and being me. I think it kind of threw him off because no one there stood up for themselves. I wasn’t going to let anyone walk all over me. I said what I had to say and we were cool. A lot of the boys thought I got sent home and were surprised when I came back the following day. They were even more surprised when Dusty went out of his way to walk over to me and shake my hand. I’m going to stand up for myself and I think they are afraid of that.
90% of those guys are vanilla. They are all the same. Long hair, pony tail, boring as can be. The day I left Tampa I shaved my head because I didn’t want to be anything like them. I’m Jeremiah Riggs from Vicksburg, Mississippi. I’m not going to be a clone. All of their promos sounded the same. They are boring and play it safe. People are afraid of the truth. What do they want in a superstar? I don’t need a character. I’m Jeremiah Riggs. I don’t need a new name or gimmick. The WWE has a shitty developmental roster. No one stands out. They are all scared of failure and half of them have been there for years. They are all the same and do the same stuff. Sure, they have a few guys that have potential but they are all clones. But I’m not going to be just like everybody else. What are they going to do send me home? You can’t scare someone who ain’t afraid.
Johnny Curtis told me a lot of the boys didn’t like me because I was doing the stuff they wish they could do but were too afraid because they were all kissing ass trying to get ahead.
The day I got there they pulled me in the office and asked me what I wanted out of the business and I told them I wanted to make money. I told them I don’t have to be in the WWE to be happy. I told them I wasn’t going to kiss their ass and tell them it’s been my lifelong dream because it hasn’t. I want to make money to support my family and give them the life they deserve. I told them I wasn’t here to be at the bottom of the card and make hillbilly money. I would do whatever it takes to get to the top. I looked at it like a week’s vacation in Tampa on the WWE. If they didn’t see it in me I told them I’d shake their hand and leave. And yesterday when I was told the WWE wasn’t going to sign me I thanked them for the opportunity.
By the end of my week there Dr. Tom (Pritchard) liked me. He told me he got it and I’m just being me. He kept saying “I’m Jeremiah Riggs from Mississippi and I’ll whip your ass. I don’t give a f–k.” He’s right. I’m not going to change or be something I’m not. He said he used to be a lot that and saw a lot of himself in me.
I’ve had offers from other promotions and I have had offers to go back to MMA. Hell I turned down a good paying fight after I came off Tough Enough because I wanted to give the WWE a shot. I would like to pursue pro wrestling because I think I showed in the short time I was on the show that I could be very good at it.
I’ve been a fighter and a had a good career. I won 5 straight and fought for Bellator and Strikeforce. I was on the Ultimate Fighter a few years ago. I’ve been on reality TV like David Otunga. I’m marketable. Who has all the Twitter followers? Did you hear the pop I got on RAW during the finale? I got a bigger reaction than Luke or Andy. The Miz told me I hit a homerun when I said ‘I’m from the Dirty South’ in Atlanta when I was on RAW the night the show debuted. Cena even walked up and shook my hand and said ‘Great Job’. CM Punk shook my hand to and said ‘Way to Go’. People know I’m real and what you see is what you get. I’m an entertainer but I’m no sellout. That night on RAW the only guy who got a bigger ovation than me was Steve Austin. He’s a Hall of Famer and I’m just in the hall.
What made Steve Austin, The Rock, and CM Punk such big superstars? They speak their mind and buck the system. I know this may hurt my chances of ever making it in the WWE but what are they gonna do? Fire me? They aren’t ready for someone like me.
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Jeremiah Riggs’ stay on season 7 of the hit reality show The Ultimate Fighter didn’t end as planned, when he was defeated in his preliminary fight by Dan Cramer, losing his shot at the fabled six-figure contract with the UFC. But that didn’t stop him from getting back on the Reality Show Bandwagon.
“One of my buddies called me when I was on the way to camp and he said ‘You aren’t going to believe this.’ I said ‘What is it?’ He said ‘You are going to be on Daisy of Love.’ I thought he was joking. He had signed me up and I didn’t know,” says Riggs of his selection to be on the VH-1 reality show. “A few hours later someone else from VH1 called and said ‘Can you be in Atlanta this weekend?’ I thought, well what have I got to lose? We were off from camp so I went. The girls loved me.”
Riggs—known as “Big Rig” on the VH-1 show—hopes the exposure will help his career as he continues to climb up the MMA ladder and expand his boundries as a businessman.
“Nowadays with the fight world you have to broaden your horizons and be an entrepreneur. Fighting is a priority but you have to market yourself. It’s reality TV and a shot at a hot girl, why not?” Riggs told hereisyourwinner.com in a recent interview. “If a promoter sees me and wants to use me that’ll be great. Fighters are entertainers. As a fighter you are a businessman. It’s a business and you have to train hard to get better and make money. You need to make people recognize that you are doing big things. Folks need to say, ‘He was on VH1 and on Ultimate Fighter 7.’ Then the promoter will think that will lead to ticket sales. I called Matt Hughes and told him about the show and what it was about and he said it was a great idea and I should go for it.”
Despite his time on The Ultimate Fighter—where coach Rampage Jackson dubbed him “Mississippi”—Riggs didn’t use that experience to try to win the heart of Daisy on the Daisy of Love.
“I’m Jeremiah Riggs and I’m not ashamed of who I am or where I came from. A lot of kids think they are bad because they are fighters. I’m not going to walk around telling everyone I’m a UFC fighter. I’m only knocking on the door of being a UFC fighter,” says Riggs. “ I’ve trained with numerous world champions. I’ve been to Mileitich’s place and trained with Jens Pulver. I’ve been at the HIT squad with Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawler. I’m just a regular person trying to make a career of fighting. I just love to do it. There was another guy on the show that was a fighter and he played it up for the cameras. I’m not like that. I’m a confident person. If you want to try me, try me. If they ask me I tell them, but I don’t run around telling everybody. I’m still me.”
Despite the stop on VH-1, Riggs still makes it clear that he is a fighter first and that being a fighter is still his focus.
“My record is only 1-1 .I’ve been training my ass off. I’m trying to be a smart fighter. I don’t want to be the guy with a built up, inflated record. I want to be the guy who has a smart fight and makes good money and fights people and not have to travel the world to fight on small cards just to make ends meet. I think people now are settling for less than they are worth,” says Riggs. “I may have to take my lumps here and there. I’ve been exposed to The Ultimate Fighter and there’s a bunch of [fighters] that I could step in and compete with. They’ve been doing it for years and I’ve been at it for two. The only thing they have over me is technique and that comes from experience. They don’t have as much heart or me or can hit as hard as I can.”
“I belive that at the level I’m at I should be on the undercard at a UFC event. The last thing I want to do is get beat by is a nobody. I want to be in there with some big names. I’d like to fight the guy who won my season. It’s all about getting the opportunity,” continues Riggs. “ I’m in the right place and I’m in the right camp. I think I could be getting my break. I’d like to be in the UFC. I’d like to call that place my home but there is Affliction and Strikeforce. You have to make a living. I got a kid to feed. I want to be paid what I’m worth.”
While fighting may still be Riggs’ focus, he isn’t ruling out a third stint on a reality show.
“I’m looking to fight pretty soon.. I’m just looking to get things in line. I’m sure once the show starts it might get crazy. I’m just going to bob and weave and take things as they come my way,” says Riggs. “If [VH-1] gave me my own show, ‘I love Mississippi’ they’d never have to make another one. I’d like to do that and pick out my own girls. Give me 25 badass bitches, shoot. That would be great.”
He’s been all over the country chasing his dream of being an accomplished mixed martial artist, now Jeremiah Riggs is thrilled to be able to fight in front of his family and friends in Tunica, MS April 23rd at Empire Fights “A Night of Reckoning III” against Keith Johnson.
“I love fighting in Mississippi”, proclaimed Riggs. “Empire Fights at Harrah’s Casino is the place to be when Big Rig comes to town. I plan on putting on a show, raising some hell, getting the win then kissing my momma on the cheek. It’s great when you get to come home and fight in front of all your friends and family. Empire Fights has given me a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it.”
After getting out of the Army in 2005 Riggs started fighting on some small shows in Mississippi and Alabama. After doing well with minimal training Riggs moved out to California to train with Frank Shamrock and eventually made his IFL team. After the team disbanded Riggs came home to Vicksburg and trained with Alan Belcher until he decided to move to Illinois and train at the HIT Squad.
“There are a lot of good dudes at the HIT Squad,” boasts Riggs. “Let me tell you, the level of training partners I have up here are second to none. Everyday I spar with Brain Foster and roll with guys like Matt Veach and John Madsen. Those are some of the toughest guys in the UFC. What was Brock Larson’s record? Brian Foster rolled right through him. That’s the guy I want to spar with. Iron sharpens iron. You know what I’m saying?”
Jumping around the country and working with big names in MMA didn’t result in Riggs getting his big break. But an email sent by a friend back home did.
“It’s funny how I got on Daisy of Love,” reflects Riggs. “I used to watch Rock of Love, Bret Michaels show over at (Alan) Belcher’s house. His wife would always mess with me about how I thought Daisy was attractive. Well another buddy of mine I talked to about the show went behind my back and submitted me for the show. Someone from L.A. called and asked me to be in Atlanta on such and such date for an interview so I dropped everything and went. They thought I was funny and a few weeks later I was in the house with a bunch of dudes.”
“The show was fun and I made some friends while I was there. But in the end it was good because it got my name out there but don’t mistake me for a reality star. I’m a fighter. That’s where my passion is. That’s where I want to make a living for myself and my little man back home.”
In February Riggs made his return to Mississippi at Empire Fights “A Night of Reckoning II” and fought a very dangerous Jesse Beal. Out of 15 combined amateur and pro fights all 14 of his wins had been by knockout.
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Jeremiah Riggs knows a thing or two about doing reality shows. He was featured on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter losing a preliminary fight to Dan Cramer. Even though he lost his opportunity to earn a UFC contract Riggs earned the respect of coach Rampage Jackson who dubbed him “Mississippi”. Since the show Riggs has been training with Matt Hughes’s HIT squad and has only fought once losing last August at an XFO show in Illinois. Now Riggs gets another shot on a reality show this time on “Daisy of Love” The show debuts April 26th on VH1. Apparently Daisy names him “Big Rig”. Daisy now has her own show after being a finalist on Rock of Love 2 before being rejected by Bret Michaels on the show’s finale. Daisy looked to be the favorite but Michaels dumped her for having a relationship with Poison guitarist C.C. Deville.