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How did the new WWE US Champion Matt Riddle do in UFC?

Matt Riddle
Matt Riddle
Anwesha Nag
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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WWE Superstar Matt Riddle took home the WWE United States Championship on Sunday after winning the belt at the Elimination Chamber.

Currently on his first title run on the main roster, Matt Riddle signed with WWE in 2018 and became a part of the developmental brand, NXT.

But before he was 'Bro'-ing his way through WWE, Matt Riddle used to be a mixed martial artist. In his short-lived career that spanned from 2008 to 2014, Matt Riddle amassed an impressive MMA record of eight wins and three losses. All but one of his MMA fights took place under the banner of UFC.

Also Read: Why does former UFC fighter Matt Riddle wrestle barefoot in the WWE?


Matt Riddle in UFC - How did he do?

Full name Matthew Fredrick Riddle, the 35-year-old was a state wrestling champion back in 2004. Representing Saratoga Springs High School of New York, Matt Riddle even scored a win over future UFC light heavyweight champion and UFC legend, Jon Jones.

Following is a picture of the two of them on the podium after the said tournament, where Riddle came first and Jon Jones, who represented Union-Endicott High School, ranked third. Former UFC fighter Ben Askren used the picture to throw shade at 'Bones' way back in 2014.

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Appearing on Sean Waltman aka X-Pac's podcast in 2017, Matt Riddle claimed that he had defeated Jon Jones at high school wrestling twice and was interested to see what would happen if they lock horns now.

"I did (beat Jon Jones). Actually two different occasions. But Jon Jones, he’s grown up a little bit. I’ve grown up a little bit. I’d still like to challenge him one day, but we’ll see what happens."

Matt Riddle earned his ticket to The Ultimate Fighter house by beating one of Matt Sera's understudy, Dan Simmler. Riddle knocked his opponent out within 8 seconds of the second round, breaking Dan Simmler's jaw in two different places. The win earned praise from all over the MMA community, including Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson who called it the 'knockout of the century'.

Watch the video of the knockout HERE.

Although Matt Riddle lost his opening TUF bout to Tim Credeur via armbar submission, he went on to defeat a much older and experienced Dante Rivera at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on his UFC debut.

Matt Riddle went on to win two more fights against Steve Bruno and Dan Cramer, building a streak of three victories within one year of debuting. He went on to secure seven wins in UFC and suffer three losses, along with two NCs. His first NC came after he tested positive for marijuana post his win over Chris Clements at UFC 149, which also earned him a $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus.

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Matt Riddle was fined and suspended for 90 days. However, he tested positive for marijuana once again after only the second fight post his return. He was subsequently released from UFC.

After this, Matt Riddle would fight in MMA only once - at Titan FC 27 against Michael Kuiper - and secure a second-round submission win. He joined WWE in 2018, appearing first at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, and subsequently went on to become the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Champion as well as the NXT Tag Team titles, pairing up with the 'Bruiserweight', Pete Dunne.

Published 22 Feb 2021, 19:53 IST
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