Matt Riddle joined Corey Graves this week on After The Bell and The Super King Of Bros shared plenty about his time in UFC and making that wild transition from MMA to pro wrestling.
Riddle said being fired from the UFC was tough and felt like his career and livelihood was at a crossroads.
“When I got fired from the UFC, because I poured my soul into that and I felt like I had nothing. Like I said, other than digging ditches and fighting people, I’m not really great at anything, you know, when it comes to making money so it’s like, ‘What am I gonna do?'”
Nonetheless, that didn’t stop Riddle from being motivated.
“I’ve always sat back and watched but at the same time I always had a chip on my shoulder. I think every fighter does and I think a lot of people in our business do. It’s like I just want to prove myself,” he said, adding that his chill demeanor can contradict that aittude.
“Like I said I’m laid back, I’m cool, I’m nice to everybody, but at the end of the day I want to be the best. I want to be the star.
“Rampage Jackson would call me ‘Chipper’ because I was always smiling, I was always happy, but then like, I’ll break your jaw. I’ll smash your face in,” he said. “And the thing is even afterwards, I’m not mad at you. That’s just business like you’re going to embarrass me?’ I can’t let that happen and I don’t want to embarrass you, but that’s how I make my living so I kind of have to. It’s a weird dynamic. Even in pro wrestling! Even though we work together, very much the same.”
Riddle then runs down how he exactly made that leap from octagon to wrestling ring and it all started with the 30th rendition of “The Grandaddy Of Them All.”
When I saw that WrestleMania, I saw guys like Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar beating The Undertaker. It’s like, ‘This is a new era,” Riddle said. “This brand, this sport is going towards guys like me and this is something I’ve always wanted to do and I felt like, even with MMA and everything I always wait for my opportunity because it’s like, things are hot when they’re hot and I saw that Mania, The Network was fresh, everything and I was just like, ‘I had to do this. I had to do this.’ I had to commit myself.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
You can hear the full conversation between Graves and Riddle below: