Matt Riddle recently retired at age 27 following a seven-year-long, strange trip through mixed martial arts.
Riddle's professional MMA debut was in the UFC, a brutal, jaw-breaking knockout of Dan Simmler in elimination round of The Ultimate Fighter 7 back in 2008. The sound of it remains in many fan's ears. Riddle went on to go a very respectable 7-3 in the UFC, with two No Contests. The NCs were due to positive tests for marijuana; Riddle has a medical marijauna card, but still ran afoul of regulations prohibiting use of the drug.
Following his second positive test in Feb, Riddle was released by the UFC, and was signed by Legacy FC. Bellator bought out his contract, and scheduled him in an upcoming welterweight tournament, but then an injury kept him out of it. The next Bellator tournament is in Jan, but no singles fights were available, so Riddle is done.
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Riddle reflects...
"When Bellator bought out my contract they said, 'We're family, we take care of our own'" said Riddle. "But then I crack a rib two weeks out from a fight and ask for an extension, like Joe Warren got, and I get told no. Then I ask if I can fight before the end of the year and I get told no on that. I've got three kids, man. When they bought me out of the Legacy contract, that was back in May. They kept me on the bench from May until September. I got hurt for September and now they say they can't get me a fight until January or February. The bottom line is, I've got a wife and three kids. I've got bills I have to pay."
"I said it to them, I told them that if I couldn't get a fight by the end of the year, I need to retire and get a full-time job. They were like, 'Well, we can't.' Really? Viacom can't? Bellator can't? OK, I guess I need to retire then."
"I'm just tired of the unethical people, the scumbags, all that. Maybe that's how all businesses are run, but in MMA I've been in the UFC, Legacy and Bellator. The UFC was the best, and even they didn't treat you that well. It just gets sh---ier on the way down. I'd rather get a real job, do some BJJ, get my black belt and compete in some tournaments. And maybe I will fight in a year or two. But right now I'm so fed up with the people that run this sport, I don't want anything to do with it."
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