Las Vegas, NV — Pro wrestling star and UFC fighter Matt Riddle might best be remembered by UFC fans for his war with Sean Pierson at UFC 124, or his Fight of the Night against Lance Benoist the following year. Or pehaps his acrimonious exit from the UFC, which saw him butt heads with UFC President Dana White over marijuana usage at the time.
Riddle, however, bounced back, achieving stardom in the WWE in a tag team with Randy Orton. And while he was part of a recent round of cuts by the pro wrestling powerhouse, Riddle (as he’s best known in the wrestling world) sees it as all part of the journey.
“I kind of look at everything from high school wrestling, to fighting in the UFC, to wrestling in WWE to, they’re all opportunities,” he told Cageside Press at the 15th Annual World MMA Awards, “and it’s what you make of it.”
It’s been a while since Riddle was involved in MMA, but his high profile saw him brought into the awards ceremony in Vegas as a presenter.
“I’m stoked to be here, I don’t think I’ve been here in 10 years, since I was fighting in the UFC. Just stoked to be here, present tonight and see what happens.”
What happens next is the question for Matt Riddle right now. Of late, he’s been talking about getting the itch to fight again. At 37, and with his star power, it’s not out of the question. He also just signed on with Major League Wrestling, where he performed prior to the WWE.
Riddle’s old coach on The Ultimate Fighter 7, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, has been looking for a fight of late, and the noticeably beefier Riddle addressed the prospect of fighting the legend (Jackson had announced a fight with Darrill Schoonover under the UFL banner for December, but it appears that bout is off for now).
“I think it would be an honor. I like Rampage, and he’s definitely got that dog in him. He’s Rampage Jackson,” exclaimed Riddle. “He’s knocked some fools out. Yeah I would take that fight, I’m pretty big, I’m juicy. But he’s my boy, I like Rampage. I don’t want to have to fight him, I’d rather just chill with him.”
Instead, Riddle is planning on traversing the globe next year, continuing his pro wrestling career. “2024 is a big year. I’m going to keep pro wrestling, I’ll be wrestling and I’ll be traveling a lot. Let’s just say that. A lot of overseas tours, stuff like that.” Though he is open to other ventures. “I go to the Jake Paul fight tomorrow, so who knows. Maybe he’ll try to fight me. You never know. You never know with those guys.”
Watch our full interview with former UFC and WWE star Matt Riddle above.