Matt Riddle's comments about UFC president Dana White may have been cruel, but that won’t do anything to affect the popularity of the UFC.
He went on to say:
I really don’t have a reaction to it because, to be honest, Dana White…it’s sad but he’s uneducated to the sport and the industry. He’s calling me a moron for using my medicine when half his fighters are on steroids. It’s pretty offensive, but at the same time, I am looking at the source, and he can’t help himself.
Even now, I don’t have a dislike for Dana White or the UFC. But really, he’s just a juice monkey who’s bald, who doesn’t know sh** about business. He just yells the F word and expects things to be handed to him.
What should I do? ... Should I get angry? Find out where Dana’s house is in Vegas? Ask him why the f**k did you fire me? Dana White should be thankful I am on medication!
As far as the comments go, they won’t change anything in terms of how people view the UFC. The UFC is still one of the fastest-growing sports organizations in the country, and issues over failed drug tests won’t garner any protests in a sport that involves people punching each other repeatedly in the face.
The fact that Riddle is the one making these comments gives them much less credibility. He was cut from the UFC for a reason, and that was because he failed to follow the rules of the sport. Even though he is prescribed medicinal marijuana, the rules still clearly state that fighters can't test positive on a drug test, regardless of its medical purposes.
The failed drug tests will fail to get much of a reaction from UFC fans, but spectators will care less about the comments because Riddle didn't make much of an impact in the organization. He finished with a 7-3-0 record in the UFC, failing to make a big presence in the league.
Spectators that are new to the sport won't care about a smaller name in the UFC complaining about White because he failed drug tests. Ripping him won't do anything to keep fans away.
While a drug test for marijuana, regardless of whether or not it is prescribed, is a bit controversial, the popularity of the sport will not be hindered by an unhappy fighter. In fact, the UFC broke a network record earlier in March.
Fans were able to watch Wanderlei Silva fight Brian Stann for free on March 2 on Fuel TV, and people tuned in. According to MMAMania.com, the fight broke the network ratings record for Fuel TV, with 485,000 people watching the event.
The previous record for the network? Only 217,000 in 2012.
UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz recently had a huge viewing as well on FX. According to Yahoo! Sports, the program brought in over 1.5 million viewers.
It seems that even with the drug testing, the UFC is still just as popular. The comments by Riddle are simply comments by an upset fighter, and people will still be tuning in anyway.