WWE NXT star Matt Riddle was recently a guest on the “E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness” to talk about joining WWE. After a promising mixed martial arts (MMA) career came to an end, Riddle decided to venture off into professional wrestling. After years of impressing on the indy scene, WWE signed riddle to a contract last year.
Riddle talked about working with Dana White in the UFC, his “brutal” departure from the promotion, and getting into professional wrestling after MMA. Here are the highlights:
Working with Dana White in the UFC: “Up until him ripping me apart on FOX Sports and being really mean, it was pleasant [working with White],” Riddle said. “Like, it seemed like a really nice work relationship. Everybody in the office seemed to like me. I think before my firing they were upset because, at the time when I was in UFC, they would allow fighters to use a lot of prescribed drugs as long as they had a doctor’s note.
“I was prescribed medical marijuana and they didn’t agree with it because it wasn’t federally legal. But they were letting a lot of fighters use prescribed testosterone and prescribed other things. And I was like, ‘well, you’re letting fighters use performance enhancing drugs and I don’t think that’s appropriate.’
“And they didn’t want me talking about that. So that was probably, like, the only back and forth that we had that was negative. Other than that, me and Dana had a great relationship.”
His “brutal” departure from the UFC: “Well, of course, I’ll be honest, I just had my third kid [at the time of UFC termination]. I just had Zach, my son. So I just had my third kid right before that fight, so it was pretty brutal. But, at the same time, I was already riding a four-win streak. I had multiple submission bonuses and stuff like that.
“So I was doing fine in the sense for money at the time. But yeah I was just like, ‘I want to get signed somewhere. I want to get fights to be able to keep this ride going because right now I’m top 10 in the world and if I get another win, I can get ranked even higher and keep going and going.'”
Getting into professional wrestling after MMA: “Once I got fired from the UFC, [pro wrestling] was [an option], but, at the same time, I hadn’t held a world title yet and I was already ranked top 10 in the UFC, which means I could probably hold a world title in basically any other company,” Riddle said. “I just wanted to win a title either in Bellator or Titan FC.”