The Nick Diaz vs. Joe Riggs hospital brawl. If there was a list of the ‘top ten MMA incidents fans wish were recorded on camera,’ this would undoubtedly be in the top three. That’s actually a damn good idea for a list, I’m stealing that idea from myself.
For those that have been living on planet Krypton for the past seven years, after Joe Riggs defeated Nick Diaz at UFC 57 back in February 4th 2006, both fighters were admitted to the same hospital with rooms adjacent to each other. Nick Diaz was pretty bitter that he lost a controversial decision, so he showed up to Joe Riggs’ room and the greatest hospital brawl in the history of hospital brawls ensued.
Now the story has varied over the years, but Sports Illustrated’s Loretta Hunt caught up with Riggs to ask him about the incident and he fully disclosed everything — finally.
“What do you want?” asked Diaz, venom dripping off his words.
“I just f—-d you up on TV. That’s two and you’re out,” said Riggs, referring to Diaz’s back-to-back UFC losses. “Time to go back to the WEC.” Riggs said he then turned back toward the nurses’ desk to resume his task.
What Riggs remembers next was the sound of footsteps; he said he pivoted halfway around to meet them and was hit square on the chin by Diaz. Riggs dropped to one knee.
“He knocked half of my tooth out,” recalled Riggs. “I saw it flying out and all I could think about was my wedding rehearsal I had to go to. Thank God it turned out only to be my molar.”
Stunned and angry, instincts kicked in and Riggs shot for a double-leg.
For the next five minutes, Riggs said the fighters broke out into a full-out brawl, grappling for control and trading insults as they went. They spilled into nearby rooms, banging into instrument trays, sending flying metal clanging to the floor. Riggs’ IV had been knocked out and blood was spraying everywhere like a bad horror movie.
“We were like two pit bulls in a china shop,” said Riggs. “It was one of most crazy things I’ve ever been involved in.”
A nurse watched, squealing like a siren, said Riggs, but no other medical personnel seemed to be around or came running. Riggs said Frank Mir and Tim Sylvia, who’d cornered Riggs earlier that night, stood nearby and watched. Neither would intervene, even when Diaz’s brother, Nate, joined in and punched Riggs himself.
If I were to copy/paste anymore, Loretta would give me call that would probably begin with ‘Man, Zeus…come on!’ If you want to read the rest of what happened that legendary night in 2006, check out the full account here.