With a division already boasting the likes of Ben Askren, Paul Daley, Douglas Lima, Ben Saunders, Andrey Koreshkov and Karl Amoussou, Matt Riddle knows he will be swimming in “Deep Waters” when he enters the Bellator Welterweight Tournament this Fall as Bellator has signed a long-term promotional agreement with the controversial Pennsylvania native.
Riddle joins Bellator coming off four straight victories with the UFC, but was recently released as he failed his post-fight drug test after his victory over Che Mills. Known for his strong wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu background along with a stifling takedown defense, Riddle is ready to challenge himself against the best in the world inside the Bellator cage.
“I had so many options after I left the UFC, but knowing that I was able to compete in a tournament against guys like Paul Daley, Ben Saunders, and Douglas Lima, signing with Bellator was an easy decision,” Riddle said. “This division is just so stacked, and being able to fight in a tournament makes it even better. Bellator is doing a lot of great things right now, and I want to be a part of it.”
Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney understands some of the risks involved with signing Riddle, but after discussions with Riddle, Rebney is confident the 27 year old welterweight is in the right place to impact the welterweight division.
“Matt’s got all the tools to be a force in our welterweight division,” Rebney said. “When I saw Matt get released from the UFC coming off 4 straight wins including his dominant win over Mills in February, we took notice. We both realize that Matt will have a target on his back for his past indiscretions. But having discussed it with him, I’m comfortable that he’s in the right place to enter the Bellator cage this fall in what will be the most loaded Bellator Welterweight Tournament in the promotions history.”
While Riddle isn’t looking too far ahead of himself, it’s clear there are a number of goals he’d like to accomplish on his way to a title shot.
“No questions asked, I want to win the next Bellator Welterweight Tournament, get my shot at the title and take my beautiful wife to the MTV Awards and meet Snoop Dogg,” Riddle remarked. “I’ve seen all the pictures of Bellator guys walking red carpets and it’s something I want to earn and be able to do. What could be better than that?”
Riddle’s journey to a Bellator Title shot and future red carpet appearances will begin this fall live on Spike.