My phone interview with new Legacy FC signee Matt Riddle, was one of my most interesting so far. This is an intriguing man, and our interview was more like two old friends catching up.
I think some of the things in Riddle’s past may have given him somewhat of a bad name around the MMA world. People calling him a stoner that doesn’t take his job serious, or saying he seems like an asshole, but I got to tell you, in the time we talked, I didn’t pick up on any of that. I found Matt Riddle is a family man with a wife and three kids; he takes his career very seriously and could probably run for Governor of Nevada one day. I don’t know if he would win, but he could definitely run. (He’d get my vote.) Matt answering the phone, “What’s up dude?” I know Matt has been bombarded with questions recently on being cut from the UFC following his win over Che Mills for failing his post fight drug test for THC, but I had to ask his thoughts on being released.
Riddle thought the UFC’s decision to cut him was “bullshit” (and I agree), “But what are you going to do? You know? The UFC is the NFL of MMA and they are the ones that make the rules. …The UFC doesn’t need a reason to fire you; it’s in your contract. So if you don’t fight exciting they can technically fire you for that. Their contracts are the worse in the world; but what are you going to do? Everyone would rather be in the UFC than anywhere else.” I asked Riddle if he had the chance later on in his career if he would ever return to the UFC. Riddle replied, “If they called me and offered me like $12,000.00 dollars or even a couple more I would say no, because I could probably be making more money somewhere else.” Riddle has not had any contact with Dana White since his release from the UFC.
On a good note, all the fans of Legacy FC will now get to see Riddle in action whether live and in person or on AXS TV. When I asked Riddle if he was familiar with any of the welterweights in Legacy, he was vaguely familiar with current welterweight champ Jeff Rexroad, but doesn’t count out the competition he will be facing in Legacy FC. Riddle knows there is talent everywhere, and that pretty much everybody hits hard. He is looking to make his Legacy FC debut on May 31st in Corpus Christi, TX. Although his opponent hasn’t been named, a few names have been thrown around, but “nothing is official until you sign the dotted line.”
We then got on the subject of his marijuana use, and it’s legit. It’s not as easy as it is in Denver or California, you have to see a doctor in Nevada and they don’t just prescribe it to anyone. Riddle gets it prescribed to him to help ease pain he feels from multiple hand and knee surgeries. He said, “I also have a little bit of an anger issue and it helps with that.” Riddle says he can also go about his daily routines while high including three trips to the gym and watching his three kids. I asked Matt how far out from his last UFC fight with Che Mills did he stop using marijuana. Riddle replied, “Three weeks….It had been 21 days since I had smoked when I fought him, I had a lot of weight to cut and I didn’t think it would be a problem….I have even gone just two weeks without smoking and been fine in the past. The one in Calgary was a fight I took on under two weeks’ notice and was thirteen days out so that was all the time I had….The thing I don’t like is how it’s on the same list as steroids and heroine.”
We then got on the subject of steroid use in MMA, which some say is used by almost everyone. Riddle said, “I think it’s a very high number. You have to think, we’re not in a sport where we’re throwing balls at each other and giggling. The way you win in MMA is by violently knocking someone out or you choke someone out or break their arm. Then you got some people that get beat up once and they never want to get beat up again. You got to realize people can take HGH and you can’t even test for HGH.”
I then asked Matt about possibly moving up to 185 while in Legacy FC. Riddle replied, “You know I have thought about it, the only thing is you don’t want to fight a guy that’s dropping from 205….but I wouldn’t mind a welterweight that just moved up to middleweight I would probably fight then or something…I’m not trying to pick fights you know, they want me at welterweight I will fight at welterweight. I just have to make sure to stop 5 weeks out this time just to make sure there is no problem.”
This is when we got to him being a family man. This guy has a wife, three kids, and a dog. He’s not just some stoner sitting behind a keyboard typing stories about MMA. He made me feel old and a little immature at the same time. I’m like two years older than him, and if I had three kids I’d probably be Maury Povich’s “Is He the Father?” this dude takes on way more responsibility than me so you have to give him props for that. Even though I think getting married before your 25 is like leaving Thanksgiving Dinner before they bring out the pumpkin pie.
Matt Riddle has dedicated his life to MMA, he has made fighting his living and supports his wife and kids with the money he makes from fighting. So of course he takes fighting seriously even though he always has a smile on his face, I wish Matt Riddle the best of luck in Legacy FC and hope he one day invites me to party with him. You can follow Matt on Twitter @riddletuf7.
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