The fighters for tomorrow’s event tipped the scales today at the Dave & Busters in Milpitas, California. Strikeforce will be airing Friday at 10:30PM EST only on HDNet, and be headlined by an electric Lightweight title bout between Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez taking on top contender Josh Thomson. Light Heavyweight Champion Bobby Southworth will also be defending his title against Anthony Ruiz. MMA veteran Joe Riggs is forced to withdraw.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz stated that Riggs was denied clearance by the California State Athletic Commission due to information that was provided on the forms submitted to the Commission. His bout with Luke Stewart was immediately cancelled.
“He took a prescription drug that he noted on his forms, but the commission won’t allow him to fight, even though it is a medically prescribed drug,” Afromowitz stated.
Neither the Commission nor Afromoitz stated what the prescription drug actually was, but it is believe to be some sort of pain reliever.
“He did not meet our medical requirements,” CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia told Sherdog.com. “We hope that in a week or so we can receive the right paperwork and we can discuss and clear him to have him fight in California.”
“Joe disclosed everything he consumed,” stated Riggs’ Agent Ken Pavia. “He had a prescription for everything. One of them he took three days ago. [He] wasn’t sure if it was going to be in his system.”
Instead of cancelling the fight entirely from the card, Strikeforce was able to find a last minute replacement for Riggs to take on Stewart, a familiar face to Stikeforce and MMA fans.
“The good news is we’re bringing in Drew Fickett,” said Afromowitz. “Drew Fickett is going to fight Luke Stewart at 185 (pounds).”
Bobby Stack (155) vs. Jose Palacios (155)
Eric Jacob (156) vs. Alexander Trivino (156)
Jorge Interiano (201) vs. Travis Johnson (205)
Cyrillo Padhillo (169) vs. Jesse Jones (169)
Bryan Caraway (140) vs. Alvin Cacdac (141)
Drew Fickett (N/A) vs. Luke Stewart (N/A) – Catch Weight of 185 pounds
Jesse Gillespie (186) vs. Eric Lawson (185) – Swing Bout
Billy Evangelista (155) vs. Nam Phan (154)
Chris Cariaso (135.5) vs. Anthony Figueroa (134.5)
Jeremiah Metcalf (185) vs. Raymond Daniels (184)
Miesha Tate (145) vs. Elaina Maxwell (146)
Anthony Ruiz (203) Bobby Southworth (205) Light Heavyweight Champion
Josh Thomson (155) vs. Gilbert Melendez (155) Lightweight Champion
Make sure to watch the fights and continue to support MMA. If for some reason you are unable to watch, no worries because 5thRound.com will be posting the results LIVE as they happen.