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June 18, 2024

Ex-WWE star Matt Riddle ‘would love’ MMA comeback in late 2024: ‘I want to do it’

Ex-WWE star Matt Riddle ‘would love’ MMA comeback in late 2024: ‘I want to do it’

Former WWE star Matt Riddle wouldn’t mind stepping back into the cage.

Riddle, 38, is one of the few combat sports athletes to find mainstream success in both MMA and professional wrestling. An alumnus of The Ultimate Fighter 7, Riddle competed 12 times in the UFC from 2008-13 and has the rare distinction of being cut from the promotion on a four-fight unbeaten streak due to a pair of failed drug tests for cannabis. Riddle then pivoted to professional wrestling, working his way from the indies up to WWE stardom before getting released this past September following a five-year run with the organization.

Riddle has since found homes with Major League Wrestling and Japanese goliath New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the latter of which saw him win the NJPW World Television Championship. But MMA still holds a place in Riddle’s heart, so he’s eyeing a return to his roots in 2024.

“I got hit up by a couple people [in the fight game],” RIddle said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “I got hit up by bare-knuckle boxing, and I got hit up by, I believe, someone from PFL, I think it was a Dan Lambert, and he told me to message somebody — or some kind of messages went by and they asked me if I was interested, and I said I’m definitely interested. Just, the fight’s got to be right and the money’s got to be right.

“I haven’t heard back since, but to be fair, I’ve also been wrestling non-stop and doing that, because honestly, when it comes to money, it’s guaranteed money and I show up and it’s there. But I would love to step back in the cage or ring at some point. I want to do it at the end of 2024. I would love to.”

Riddle lasted competed in MMA with a 2014 cameo for Titan FC, scoring a second-round submission of Michael Kuiper to improve his pro record to 8-3 (2 NCs). That fight was the only pro bout of Riddle’s career to not come under the UFC banner, however much has changed in Riddle’s life since he pushed his MMA unbeaten streak to five straight.

Riddle spoke extensively about his WWE firing, multiple rehab stints, and various other controversies in a candid and wide-ranging conversation on The MMA Hour. And when it comes to an MMA comeback, Riddle is simply looking for the right opportunity. The TUF veteran said he currently weighs 211 pounds but would be willing to cut weight for his return to the cage. He also floated bare-knuckle MMA as a potential new detour to try.

“I’ll drop down to middleweight,” Riddle said. “Depends. Depends on who you give me.”

“I mean, maybe give me somebody I can steamroll,” Riddle added with a laugh. “I’m not saying he does a job for me, [but] let me shake off the rust.”

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