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Ben Saunders to face Joe Riggs at UFC on FOX 13 in December


After the scare of his life, veteran Joe Riggs is set to make his return to the Octagon in his hometown.

"Diesel" will take on Ben Saunders at UFC on FOX 13 at the U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 13. The bout was announced on on Monday evening.

After a stint in Bellator, where he defeated Mike Bronzoulis to win the Spike TV reality show "Fight Master," the 31-year old Riggs (40-14-1) was set to make his return to the UFC in September against Paulo Thiago. However, while disassembling a pistol in his house in Arizona on July 28, Riggs accidentally shot himself through the hand and in the left leg, forcing him out of the fight.

At the time, Riggs feared that he had hit his femoral artery, and thought that he was going to die. While awaiting for Air Evac to arrive, he actually said his goodbyes to his wife and daughter, as he began to slip from consciousness. Fortunately, after a blood transfusion at the hospital, Riggs survived the scare. He appeared on The MMA Hour on August 25 and said he was already fully on the mend and hoping to fight on his home turf in Phoenix, and the UFC has granted his wish.

In Saunders (17-6-2), he'll be facing another fighter on his second UFC stint. The 31-year old Saunders competed on Season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter, and had an up-and-down first run in the UFC, going 4-3 overall. After losing to Dennis Hallman at UFC 117 (decision), the Florida-based Saunders ended up fighting in Bellator for the next three years, racking up a record of 7-3 during that time. He made a successful return to the UFC at UFC Fight Night 49 in August against Chris Heatherly, becoming the first in Zuffa to submit his opponent via omoplata. The submission earned him a Performance of the Night Bonus ($50,000).

UFC on FOX 13 takes place on Dec. 13, and will be headlined by former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic.

Tickets go on sale for Fight Night Phoenix on Oct. 10.

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