Matthew Riddle Returns From 3 Week Retirement
Former UFC welterweight fighter, Matthew Riddle, will be returning to action after a very brief retirement that began early in September. He will look to make his debut for Bellator FC on November 22.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Retirements in combat sports rarely last long. Tito Ortiz lasted around a year, Randy Couture over two. But when you’re not even 30 years old, like former UFC welterweight fighter Matthew Riddle, retirement lasts even less than that.
Riddle (7-3) announced his retirement back in September after an injury to his ribs forced him out of a fight with Bellator and the organization couldn’t find him a later date.
“Honestly, I was pissed,” he told MMA Junkie about what led to his retirement. “So I was like, ‘If I can’t fight, I’m going to retire.’ I basically threw a hissy fit and retired. (But Bellator) called me up and said, ‘Bro, we didn’t realize your situation.’ They gave me an advance, they gave me money and the fight in November, and they’ve already got me scheduled for the tournament in January or February.
“They’re doing everything in their power to help me out. Unfortunately, I kind of hopped off the handle right off the bat. I had a cracked rib, I hadn’t fought in six months, and I’m broke. But they took care of me and hooked me up and I couldn’t be happier.”
While his departure from the sport was rooted in a distaste for the promoters and managers in MMA, Riddle’s return carries with it a new tune.
“It’s water under the bridge,” he told MMA Junkie, “and we’re ready to move forward to greener pastures. They just want me to fight forward and do work for them, and they’re willing to help me in any way that they can. And you can’t ask for much more from a company. At the end of the day, they treated me right and I’m happy.”
Riddle’s career leading up to his retirement certainly had its ups and downs. Following his stint on the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Riddle fought to a respectable 5-1 record in the UFC before losing two straight decisions in 2010 and 2011. He bounced back from those losses with four consecutive wins, but two of those wins were overturned to ‘No Contests’ by state athletic commissions following Riddle’s failure to pass the drug tests due to marijuana in his system.
Following the second failed drug test, the UFC cut Riddle. The fighter was able to fairly quickly sign a deal with Legacy Fighting Championship, but that contract was purchased soon after by Bellator.
Which brings him to his current state, healing from his injuries and preparing for a fight in late November. While he does not have an opponent, Riddle is confident that Bellator has his best interests in mind.
“I think they’re going to keep me a lot more active in the future,” he said, saying that the promotion is planning for him to fight in the Season 10 welterweight tournament next year.