Jeremiah Riggs

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Jeremiah Riggs
Born Jeremiah Riggs
(1982-12-17) December 17, 1982 (age 35)
Vicksburg, Mississippi, United States
Other names Bigg Rigg
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)
Division Middleweight
Fighting out of Springfield, Illinois
Team Fiore MMA
Years active 2007-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 15
Wins 7
By knockout 1
By submission 3
By decision 3
Losses 8
By knockout 1
By submission 5
By decision 2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Jeremiah Riggs (born December 12, 1982) is an American professional wrestler, and mixed martial artist who competes in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. A professional MMA competitor since 2007, Riggs has made a name for himself mainly fighting in the Midwest, and his homestate of Mississippi. He was a competitor on SpikeTV's The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs Team Forrest as well as a contestant on WWE Tough Enough.

Early life[edit]

Riggs was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He is the son of an E-9 who served four years in the Coast Guard followed by 31 years in the National Guard.[1] Riggs attended his local high school, playing baseball and football, lettering in both sports. After graduating high school Riggs went on to enroll into Mississippi Delta Community College where he was on the football team.[2]

Upon graduating from college Riggs signed up with the United States Army and served a tour in Afghanistan with the 1st Ranger Battalion.[1] After leaving the Army in 2005, Riggs worked around Mississippi driving trucks for a living; even owning his own trucking business.

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Riggs made his professional debut against Craig Sjoerdsma in New Orleans, Louisiana. Riggs won the fight via submission from strikes in the first round. Riggs then fought Robert Thompson for the Southern Fighting Alliance middleweight title belt. The fight lasted all 5 rounds, and Riggs narrowly lost a decision.[3] During the fight, one of Riggs' front teeth was knocked out. In 2007 Riggs sold his trucking company and moved to San Jose to train MMA with Frank Shamrock. Riggs was set to become part of the San Jose Razorclaws, an International Fight League team coached by Shamrock, but the team was disbanded by the IFL before the season began.[1]

After the IFL dissolved Riggs was invited to be a part of season seven of The Ultimate Fighter.[4] Riggs was paired against Dan Cramer in a preliminary match-up to see who obtained entry into the house.[5] Riggs lost a decision, but earned the respect of UFC President Dana White and Quinton Jackson. After filming on TUF Riggs moved to Granite City, Illinois to train with Matt Hughes at The HIT Squad.

Riggs took a fight against up-and-comer Dom O'Grady, losing the fight via submission late in the last round of the fight. The loss was the start of a four-fight losing streak stretching from 2008 to 2010. During that time he saw defeat from soon-to-be teammate Ken Jackson, and future UFC fighter John Salter. Riggs broke the streak in February 2010 after pulling off an impressive triangle choke submission over Jesse Beale. After suffering his last loss Riggs went on a five fight winning streak; with wins coming inside the Bellator Fighting Championships, and Strikeforce.[2][6][7] In 2011, Riggs officially retired from MMA to pursue a career in professional wrestling.[8]

On March 16, 2012 Riggs officially came out of retirement at Bellator 61 in Bossier City, Louisiana to fight Trey Houston in a "Middleweight Tournament Qualifier". He is signed and currently under contract with Bellator.[9]

Television career[edit]

After competing on The Ultimate Fighter Riggs was selected to go on VH1's hit reality show Daisy of Love. In an MMA fight arranged by the show's producers, Riggs defeated VH1 reality personality "12 Pack" which saw 12 Pack suffer a broken nose and sent to the hospital. Riggs finished fifth on the show.[10]

When filming of Daisy of Love ended, Riggs was selected to be a part of another VH1 series I Love Money 3. The show was never aired due to another contestant who killed his own wife before committing suicide.[1]

Jeremiah Riggs
Born (1982-12-17) December 17, 1982 (age 35)
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Residence Granite City, Illinois,
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Jeremiah Riggs,
Big Rigg,
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Billed weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st)
Trained by Matt Hughes,
Dutch Mantel,
Bill DeMott

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Riggs began his professional wrestling career training with Dutch Mantel in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.[11]


Tough Enough[edit]

In March 2011, he was announced as one of the fourteen contestants for the return of WWE Tough Enough on the USA Network.[12] Throughout the show, Riggs was complimented on his heart and athleticism. He was nicknamed "MMA" by the trainers because of his mixed martial arts background. Along with Martin, he was one of just two contestants to not get stuck in the bottom three. Riggs finished third on the show, being eliminated in week nine because of his inexperience inside the ring.

Florida Championship Wrestling (2011)[edit]

In May 2011, Riggs made his debut for Florida Championship Wrestling, the developmental territory for the WWE. He defeated Peter Orlov in his first match as a part of the Tough Enough finale.[13] However, Riggs was released after being informed that WWE had no interest in signing him following the tryout in FCW after rubbing officials and other wrestlers the wrong way.[14]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Ultimate Fighter Himself TV Series
2010 Daisy of Love Himself TV Series
2011 WWE Tough Enough Himself TV Series
2015 Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge Himself TV Series

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 7–8 Peter Aspenwal Decision (split) Bellator 101 September 27, 2013 3 5:00 Portland, Oregon, United States
Loss 7–7 Kelvin Tiller Submission (Kimura) Bellator 70 May 25, 2012 3 3:38 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Loss 7–6 Trey Houston Submission (armbar) Bellator 61 March 16, 2012 1 3:30 Bossier City, Louisiana, United States
Win 7–5 Eric James Slocum Decision (majority) SportFight X: Middle Tennessee Mayhem January 29, 2011 3 5:00 Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States
Win 6–5 James Sharp Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce Challengers: Wilcox vs. Ribeiro November 19, 2010 3 5:00 Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Win 5–5 Mike Fleniken Decision (unanimous) Bellator 30 September 23, 2010 3 5:00 Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Win 4–5 Menden McKeehan TKO (punches) Absolute Cage Fights 12 July 16, 2010 1 0:17 Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Win 3–5 George Oiler TKO (submission to punches) Hardrock MMA 23 June 18, 2010 1 4:59 Albany, Kentucky, United States
Loss 2–5 Keith Johnson Submission (rear-naked choke) Empire FC: A Night of Reckoning 3 April 23, 2010 2 4:34 Tunica, Mississippi, United States
Win 2–4 Jesse Beal Submission (triangle choke) Empire FC: A Night of Reckoning 2 February 27, 2010 1 4:48 Tunica, Mississippi, United States
Loss 1–4 Eric Irvin Decision (unanimous) Devastation Fight Club January 30, 2010 3 3:00 Cape Girardeau, Missouri, United States
Loss 1–3 John Salter TKO (punches) CCCW: The 3rd Degree October 17, 2009 1 4:44 Springfield, Illinois, United States
Loss 1–2 Ken Jackson Submission (rear-naked choke) Arkansas MMA: Ultimate Fight Night 6 November 28, 2009 1 3:07 Fort Smith, Arkansas, United States
Loss 1–1 Dom O'Grady Submission (guillotine choke) XFO 25: Outdoor War 4 August 9, 2008 3 4:16 Island Lake, Illinois, United States
Win 1–0 Craig Sjoerdsma TKO (submission to punches) Ultimate Cage Fighting: Rage in the Cage September 22, 2007 1 N/A New Orleans, United States


  1. ^ a b c d "Meet Jeremiah Riggs - | @TheRhinoDen | Home Of All Things Military". Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b "WWE Tough Enough | Reality Series". USA Network. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  3. ^ "Jeremiah Riggs Alabama Pride Video Blog Episode 4". YouTube. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  4. ^ Stupp, Dann (January 28, 2008). "Jeremiah Riggs Picked for "The Ultimate Fighter 7" Cast". Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dan Cramer vs. Jeremiah Riggs - ROUND 2". Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Bellator 30 - Fourth Street Live, Louisville, KY". Archived from the original on May 15, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jeremiah Riggs talks about win at "Middle Tennessee Mayhem" and what could be next". February 1, 2011. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Tough Enough contestant Jeremiah Riggs on transition from MMA to pro wrestling – exclusive". Pro MMA Now. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Jeremiah Riggs". April 2, 2014. Archived from the original on May 1, 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Clendaniel, Brett (2015-12-18). "Dutch Mantel Endorses a WWE Tough Enough Candidate". Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  12. ^ ""TUF 7" vet Jeremiah Riggs set for WWE's "Tough Enough" series". March 16, 2011. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jeremiah Riggs blasts FCW". 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 

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