Former UFC welterweight Matt Riddle is full of it when he says he can't make a comfortable living as a fighter, at least as far as UFC President Dana White is concerned.
In a Skype interview on UFC Tonight, White responded to recent comments Riddle made to Ben Fowlkes of MMA Junkie, claiming he made about $50,000 a year from a sport where "where you get torn open, get brain damage and bleed."
"From 2011 to 2013, that guy was making $162,000 a year. Now understand this: the guy fights on prelims ... does Matt Riddle sell anymore tickets? Does he sell anymore pay-per-views? The guy is fighting on the prelims. He's fighting his way up to one day possibly become a big star in the sport. Um, then he comes out and says all these things like 'we treated him horrible, he was treated so horrible here.' You were making $162,000 a year, something like 52 or $54,000 a fight, you fight three times a year unless you get injured or something like that happens ... The reason he's not in the UFC anymore is because he could not pass a drug test! The guy couldn't pass a drug test! Ok ... think about this: you have to go to work three times a year and you couldn't pass a drug test? You're so weak minded and so addicted to marijuana that you couldn't stay off it enough to pass a drug test three times a year. Well guess what dummy: they drug test in the real world too."
According to Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie, the UFC cut Riddle, who fought all 10 of his professional MMA bouts inside the Octagon, in February of this year after he failed his second drug test for marijuana in an eight month period.
A month later, Dann Stupp of MMA Junkie reported that the scrappy grappler signed a contract with Legacy Fighting Championships, only to have his contract bought out by Bellator before he competed with the Texas based promotion.
Riddle was set to fight in Bellator season nine welterweight tournament against Luis Melo, Jr. next Saturday, but a rib injury forced him out of the bout and the 27-year-old decided to hang up the gloves as a result:
I'm retiring from MMA today, I cracked my rib and I can't fight sept 20th @BellatorMMA can't give me a fight this year so I can't afford it!
— matthew riddle (@riddletuf7) September 10, 2013
Assuming the retirement sticks, Riddle ends his career with a 7-3(2) record, though it would've been 9-2 if it weren't for the failed drug tests.
Riddle earned a "Fight of the Night" bonus for his unanimous decision loss to Lance Benoist in September 2011, as well as an extra check "Submission of the Night" at UFC 149 last July against Chris Clements, though that was one of his victories that was overturned.
Is it fair to say that Riddle is giving fight fans the whole story from his perspective or is White accurate in implying that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye?