It’s not everyday that a UFC athlete on a four-fight winning streak is released from the promotion. But that’s exactly what happened to Matt Riddle back in 2013.
At the time, the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor was dealing with a pair of consecutive failed drug tests for marijuana that overturned two of his four wins during that run. Following the second positive drug test, the UFC opted to void Riddle’s contract and release him from the promotion.
In the aftermath of the release, White called Riddle a “dummy” while lashing out about the fighter’s exit from the promotion.
Riddle ultimately went onto fight only one more time, picking up a win in Titan FC. Soon after, he turned his attention to professional wrestling. Years of toil on the regional circuit payed off when, in 2018, he inked a multi-year deal to join the roster at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Now, Riddle is now one of the marquee stars performing in their NXT development show.
During a recent interview, White justified his decision to release Riddle from the UFC and also addressed his feelings towards the retired welterweight.
“I’ve heard interviews with Matt Riddle, and he’s very fired up about being let go and everything,” White told Barstool Sports. “At that place and that time where we were, it was the right move. I’m happy for him. I’m happy that he’s been successful and he’s doing well. I don’t wish the kid any ill will.
“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.”
Following that interview, Riddle took to his Instagram to fire back at the UFC president while once again blasting White for his reaction when releasing him from the promotion.
“Dana, I’m not mad that you fired me,” Riddle wrote. “I’m mad because you’re a heartless moron with too much money and power and felt the need to call me a loser after you fired me when I was on a four-fight win streak and had my third child almost bankrupting me.
“Also to say it was the right call to fire me is the dumbest thing ever, you literally tried to ruin my career/life because you’re a little bald bitch that couldn’t control me, so stop lying it’s sad bro.”
It’s safe to say Riddle hasn’t let go of old grudges after his UFC release. White, meanwhile, seems resigned to avoid further conflict with the former fighter turned WWE superstar.