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Wednesday, 02/27/2013, 08:44 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Matt Riddle: “I Got Fired For Taking My Medicine” | UFC NEWS

 

UFC fans have watched Matt Riddle grow up right before our very eyes. The 27-year-old welterweight burst on to the scene as a contestant on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. Riddle was the second selection for Team Rampage after knocking out Dan Simler to get into the house. Dana White called it the biggest knockout in TUF history; unfortunately for Simler he suffered a broken jaw in two places, but it made Riddle instantly recognizable.

Up until yesterday Riddle was one of only two fighters in the UFC who has had every one of their professional fights take place inside the Octagon, the other being TUF 10 contestant, Matt Mitrione. All of that will soon change for Riddle because the organization released him after he failed his second drug test in seven months following his win over Che Mills at UFC on Fuel TV 7 in England two weeks ago.

Although Riddle is prescribed medical marijuana by a physician in Las Vegas, the UFC decided that they could no longer afford to have Riddle on their roster. His first failed test came back in July after he submitted Chris Clements at UFC 149 in Calgary. Both times Riddle saw two hard earned victories overturned to no contests. The Allentown, PA native uses marijuana to calm his nerves and help him sleep, but now it has cost him his job with the biggest MMA organization in the world.

Riddle joined us on BJPenn.Com Radio tonight to discuss what happened and what he plans on doing next.

“They (UFC legal department) hit me up yesterday morning and said I had failed a drug test,” Riddle told BJPenn.Com Radio. “I still don’t know how it’s possible; I quit smoking three weeks out from the fight. I’ve passed drug tests when I quit two weeks out from a fight; it’s just crazy to me. I asked for my numbers and they sent me a form that just said I tested positive for marijuana.  It didn’t say how much, it just said I was over the amount.”

”It is what it is I’ve failed two drug tests in seven months. There’s not much I can do I was prescribed my medicine and I’m going to take it. I got fired over taking my medicine because I don’t want to take pharmaceutical drugs or testosterone. This is what works for me, it’s just s****y, but it is what it is.”

One can only imagine what went through Riddle’s head when he first heard the devastating news, but after the initial shock wore off he had to take everything into account and figure out his next step. The UFC has fired many fighters before only to bring them back after they have gotten a few wins under their belt or gotten their act together. Riddle’s failed tests may look bad, but others have made their way back to the Octagon after committing worse sins.

“They said if I go out, win a couple of fights and pass a couple of drug tests, I’ll get a call back,” admitted Riddle. “At this point I’m going to do my own thing, I’m going to fight and hopefully it’s not too hard to line something up. I just want to get some fights lined up and keep moving.”

Many wonder why Riddle doesn’t choose to take something legal to help him deal with his anxiety and other issues. There are plenty of other medications available for him to take that are designed to alleviate his symptoms, but he’s gone that route before and he has had no luck with anything that has been prescribed to him.

“It (Marijuana) doesn’t just help me sleep, it relaxes me,” Riddle said. “It also takes care of my aches and pains. I’ve had four surgeries since I joined the UFC and I had knee surgery before I signed with them. Even taking ibuprofen makes me sick, I get nauseous and it hurts my stomach. I can’t even handle anything stronger than that, I’m not allergic to it, I just can’t stomach it.”

In this day and age there is an answer for everything; people are constantly coming up with ways to cheat the system. You can walk into any head shop and buy a drink that will flush your system for a few hours and allow you to pass a drug test. There are also pills you can buy that will have the same effect. Companies are making money hand over fist because people don’t want to stop getting high and have to pass drug tests in order to keep their job or in some cases their freedom. Riddle knows all about these concoctions, but doesn’t want to be known as a cheat.

“I never wanted to cheat, the rules are I can’t fight and have it in my system, I understood that completely,” offered the father of twin daughters. “I’ve always taken precautions in the past, the only time I failed before this was when I fought in Calgary and that was because I took the fight on less than a week’s notice”.

“I still don’t know how I failed this drug test; I really don’t know how I could’ve failed it. I fluctuate like 15lbs. a day during my training camps because I workout two to three times a day. If it’s a hard workout I’ll lose about 7lbs. and gain it right back. I had 21 days, I know people who have passed in seven days, and I’ve passed in less time. I got a call from the legal department yesterday and I was just shocked.”

Riddle has been on somewhat of a roll over the past year. If you take away the two no-contests, he has won four straight and was slowly climbing his way up the welterweight division. It’s understandable that the UFC would want to release him after failing two drug tests, but you can take a look at plenty of other fighters on their roster who are not only getting suspended for PED’s, they aren’t performing well in their fights. Riddle chooses to take the high road and work on getting better as a fighter. He does have an opinion on why they were so quick to release him and keep others under contract.

“It does bother me, for some reason the UFC hates people that smoke weed,” Riddle said. “The whole MMA industry for some reason hates people that smoke marijuana. I don’t know why, I keep to myself for the most part. I smoke weed and I fight. Usually I put on exciting fights or I dominate people, I always go out there and fight. It’s stupid that I got fired over a plant, but other people think it’s stupid that I just won’t stop smoking. I quit three weeks before my fight and this is what works for me. If you were me or lived with me you’d understand.”

One last subject that we touched on with Riddle is the fact that his medical marijuana card is issued from the state of Nevada, the same state where the UFC is based. It may not get him far, but contacting an attorney for wrongful termination is something that Riddle thought about long before it ever became an issue.

“I thought about that even before this situation came up,” admitted Riddle. “I knew it might come up one day and I thought about going to talk to a lawyer, but for now I’m just trying to figure out my next step. I’m not too worried, but at the same time I just can’t sleep on it. The only good thing is the athletic commission didn’t suspend me because it was a UFC administered drug test. They can’t suspend me so I can fight tomorrow, but I’d fail a drug test tomorrow though so I’ll wait a month or so!”

 

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comments

0 Comments to EXCLUSIVE | Matt Riddle: “I Got Fired For Taking My Medicine” | UFC NEWS

  1. BringFitchBack says:

    This medical marijuana crap is just a fucking scam for dudes to get high! lmao!!

  2. Drew says:

    This is fucking bullshit feel bad that we have another victim over a law that is made to make money and put marijuana in the same category as heroin and crack,
    Plus he lives in a state that had medical
    Marijuana….injustice

  3. riddlemethis says:

    MMJ should not be used to relax and sleep real men have a few beers to do this or a chick to bang. He is a failure in life because he can’t handle life without being high.

    I think it’s funny how he opened his big mouth about weed use thinking he was sly and would get away with this.

    • Big Daddy says:

      @ Riddlemethis do you even realize how ignorant and hypocritical your comment is? Actually a real man doesn’t need anything, a real pan takes the pain.

  4. 757 says:

    Hey Drew you said it right….IT’S A LAW!!!He got fired because he broke a company policy. Rules are rules. We all have them on our jobs. We don’t always have to like them. He liked smoking weed more than working for the company. You act as if you have no job. It’s their company so it’s their policy, and currently it’s against the law. You and the rest of these smokers need to grow up…Riddle got tossed on his ass because he thought the UFC would kiss his. Well it looks like another smoker bites the dust…off to Jamaica with you ha ha!!!

  5. doc says:

    I used to smoke weed often before I got a job for the company I am with now. They will do random tests.

    I love weed. I become much more focused on what I am doing and I am a much more easy going person. But as much as it is a positive drug for me with no side effects; I refuse to lose my job over it.

    So I do not smoke weed anymore. It sucks, but this is the reality of it.

    I understand why somebody would need to be prescribed marijuana. But people need to realize that other things in life need to come first. Such as working so a man can take care of his family. Unless your job does not care about it. Then of course he would not be in this situation.

    To judge him so harshly is just plain ignorant. I get where he is coming from, but in my opinion he should have not taken any chances. Not when he has a family to take care of.

  6. ryan dockins says:

    Alcohol and cigarettes are way worse for you than weed! That’s what makes it a dumb fucking law. Also, lots of companies drug test and may find THC and not give a shit because they’re looking for something that actually matters like meth. People act like just because something is a law that must mean it’s a perfect law or that it’s right. The UFC has a right to employ whatever drug policy they want, but what waste of fucking time. HGH or trt is way more harmful to fighters, but the use of it is legal with a doctors note at least the trt is anyway. People who cry about weed don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about cuz if they did they wouldn’t be opposed to it at all. You’ll always have people lying to try and prove there point and saying they used to be pothead or know from experience, but there full of shit. If the Ufc cared about it’s employees using pot how the fuck does Joe rogan have a job? It’s okay for the commentator , but not okay for the fighters? Bullshit!

    • Sasquatch says:

      I totally agree with your veiw’s on weed but don’t fool yourself, the UFC’s REAL reason for cutting Riddle was his last performance (lay-n-pray)… they’re just using this as an excuse to drop his boring @ss. I’ve worked with burners and alcoholics and the burners are by far the better employees… they show up on a regular basis, are not hung-over there for they’re easier to deal with, safer and more productive. I’m by no means condoning smoking weed but it is definally the lesser of the two evils.

    • doc says:

      Regardless of how stupid the law is against pot; it is still a law. It is a rule in the UFC, no matter how much I,or anybody disagrees with it. It is still a rule. That is what this is about. He knew he was breaking a rule. He knew he might lose his job. But he took that chance. He lost his job.

      That is what this is about, nothing more.

      Joe Rogan does not fight. Joe Rogan does not have to pass drug tests to commentate. The rule is in place for fighters.

      I do not understand what they have against weed. I never will.

      I want to know where it stops. Somebody decides to take Saint Johns Wort (a natural little yellow flower) to try and balance their mood? It can help a fighter to stay focused and relax. Should we ban that since it can now be considered a performance enhancing drug?

      • Ryan Dockins says:

        First of all I’m stating an opinion not the facts, but thanks for reiteration. Secondly, Joe Rogan works under the UFC banner. How do you drug test some of your employees and not all of them? Hypocrisy? This in my opinion is about hypocrisy and implementing a rule that everybody knows is bullshit. Matt Riddle has a prescription for his pot just like Chael Sonnen has a prescription for his trt. TRT and mmj need to be treated the same when it comes to the UFC’s rule because they both coincide with the law. You’d think the UFC would make an exception for those who have a drug card. Whether or not he’s breaking the state commissions law is entirely different. Matt Riddle new the consequences and tried his best to beat the test and got busted, no way around it, but it doesn’t make it any less bullshit that the UFC doesn’t allow people to take medical prescribed drugs that certainly aren’t determining the outcome of a fight in regards to enhancing a fighters ability to perform.

        • 757 says:

          Wow you are so wrong its ridiculous. The athletic commission tests fighters. He pissed hot. Don’t lump other employees in it. Don’t say it’s a dumb law. Don’t make excuses for this dumb ass. He knew when he entered the UFC what the rules were. He chose to push the rules and found out what’s up. Don’t do drugs while you are fighting. Until everything else is illegal stop crying about it. Failing tests for smoking marijuana gets you fired. If you know this then stop or quit…..fucking smokers wow

  7. King Prodigy Levreau says:

    Well said my friend…one love from the “NO” in central cali.

  8. SlipSlap says:

    What utter BS this is coming from the UFC. Marijuana is in no way ‘performance enhancing’, and its a legally obtainable medical product if you have the paperwork. Punishing someone as harshly as this for taking medicine if utter BS. The UFC does virtually f’ all to those fighter who take genuine performance enhancers, including roids. In fact, you’re likely to get a shot at the title if you take them.

  9. Dee says:

    SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. HE WAS PRESCRIBED MARIJUANA FOR MEDICINAL USE BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE TESTOSTERONE, DIDN’T WANT TO REPORT IT TO THE UFC, AND FELT THE NEED TO TEST HIMSELF 2 WEEKS OUT FROM THE FIGHT AND THIS PROVES WHAT?

    Matt Riddle is a perfect example to why athletes need a PR person. smh

  10. Ratt Middle says:

    I got arrested for taking my medicine. All I was doing was carb loading on my drive home from a party and everyone knows that beer is a great source of carbs. I’m a bigger guy so I needed at least 18 beers to make up for my work out earlier that day. So the cop pulls me over and makes me walk the line but my legs were burned out from doing squats so that’s why I stumbled and fell onto my forehead, then that’s when I think he put me in the drunk tank. Life isn’t fair, for me beer is an actual supplement for my work outs. I don’t drink everyday to get drunk like some bum, I need it for my body to recover and ease my mind at the end of the day.

    • 757 says:

      18 beers? What a boss! Yeah drinking and driving is a problem too. What’s your point? I hope your not defending this goof for smoking. I didn’t read your comment like that but I wasn’t sure because your comment is a little confusing.

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