Matt Riddle is a free agent now that he's departed the WWE and he says he's itching to get back into MMA.
“There’s been a lot of talk. I’ve been talking to a couple of promotions,” Riddle said on the World MMA Awards red carpet. “I don’t want to get into it until it’s official, but I think in 2024 there’s a very big possibility that I get back in the ring or cage pretty soon.”
The former UFC star hasn't fought in an MMA cage since he defeated Michael Kuiper at Titan FC 27 in 2014, and it's been even longer since he fought in the UFC. His last appearance for the promotion was in March 2013. Riddle won the bout versus Che Mills but the fight was overturned due to a positive Marijuana drug test.
“Maybe this is a bad theory or bad idea, but I feel like you’ve got to get beat up to leave, you know?” Riddle said. “I feel like I left the UFC on a four-fight win streak, then won another fight in Titan FC. I just kind of left and went to pro wrestling. I did good (and am) still doing it. Pro wrestling is awesome, but I still want to get beat up. I want to have my exit. We’ll see. Maybe somebody beats me up. Maybe I keep winning. Who knows?”
Is Matt Riddle making a return to the UFC?
Riddle's exit from the UFC wasn't the greatest. At the time of his departure, UFC president Dana White blasted him for not following guidlines following two failed drug tests. Ironically, many commissions are now allowing marijuana use.
“I have to thank Dana, because if he were to just fire me and not say anything, nobody probably would’ve knew about me,” Riddle said. “Putting me on blast and doing that, I think a lot of people could relate with me. They probably had their parents or their boss talk to them like that. I think that’s kind of where that ‘bro’ character kind of started. Making my way through pro wrestling wasn’t easy, too, especially with the stigma as being that guy who got fired. I think every good journey needs a good story of ups and downs, just like a good pro wrestling match.”
Despite that not-so-pretty exit, he wouldn't rule out a return to the UFC, if they wanted him back.
“I never say never,” Riddle said. “If the opportunity is right. I don’t really hold a grudge. I mean, I talk a lot of sh*t. Sorry, I talk a lot of trash. That’s about it. If there’s business to be had, I’ll get business done. … For me, there’s no fence that really needs mending. (White) had his decision. I had mine. He went his way. I went my way. I had great success and so has he. For me, there’s no problem. It’s just a matter of if he’d want me to work for him and pay me again. He doesn’t have to.”