Why was WWE star Matt Riddle released by UFC?

WWE RAW Superstar, Matt Riddle
WWE RAW Superstar, Matt Riddle

Matt Riddle is just one of the many WWE Superstars that first found success in the UFC. During his time at the MMA promotion, he had a record of eight wins and three losses. His run with the promotion ended after failing two drug tests within a year.

At UFC 149, Riddle stepped in on short notice to replace Siyar Bahadurzada and successfully fought Chris Clements. Matt submitted his opponent in a standing arm-triangle choke 2 minutes into the third round, even gaining a $65,000 submission of the night bonus.

However, on October 20, 2012, it was announced that he failed his post-fight drug test, and the match was changed to a no-contest. In addition, he was fined and suspended for 90 days.

On February 16, 2013, Matt had his final fight in the UFC against Che Mills. Although he won the match via split decision, Riddle shared ten days later that he tested positive for marijuana. After failing a second drug test, the promotion released him.

In a past interview with MMA Fighting, the 36-year-old shared that his usage of marijuana was for medical purposes.

"I'm smoking so I can finally relax, sit back and just not worry about things. People, maybe they did it in college one way, but for a guy like me, for a professional athlete that goes through what we go through, it’s medicine for me. Maybe for some little stoner sitting on the couch playing XBox, for him, it's a drug. For me, it's medicine," said Riddle.
Just me being a STALLION, to think I was fired from the UFC seven years ago while on a four fight win streak still blows my mind and I still wonder what if i still fought, where would I be? PS Wrestling is way cooler

Matt Riddle did not have a good relationship with UFC President Dana White

After his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the WWE Superstar was in a heated exchange with his former boss Dana White. However, it looks like the UFC president has buried the hatchet.

In an interview with Barstool Sports in 2019, White admitted that although he didn't wish anything bad for Riddle, he had no regrets in firing him.

“I don’t hate Matt Riddle or dislike Matt Riddle in any way. I know he feels the opposite, as he should, but I don’t wish him any ill will or anything. But no, I don’t regret the decision that I made at that time,” said Dana White.
Years ago when I fought in the UFC this was my first fight of the night and it was epic. Also that’s not my blood 🩸 #bro #stallion #wwe #ufc

Since debuting in NXT in 2018, Matt Riddle has held the NXT Tag Team Championship with Butch (Pete Dunne), the United States title, and RAW Tag Team title with Randy Orton. Although his MMA career was cut short, he found new success in pro wrestling.

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Edited by Jeevak Ambalgi
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