Matt Riddle begins his post-UFC career Feb. 28 when he meets Michael Kuiper at Titan Fighting Championship 27.
Ahead of the bout, Riddle joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his return to MMA, whether he’ll keep fighting and more.
On his opponent: “I’m stoked to be the co-main event on CBS Sports. It’s definitely a great opportunity for me, for sure. Michael Kuiper, he’s a tough fighter. He’s scrappy. He’s got some good standup, decent submission defense and stuff like that, but his last two fights he got guillotined. I got a feeling that’s a weakness. I think I’ll just grind him and hopefully get the ‘W.’”
On why he retired: “I retired from Bellator because they refused to give me an extension on my fight in the tournament or a fight this year, in 2013, when I was talking to them. I saw they would do other things for Joe Warren and other fighters that they just had a soft spot for, I guess. I didn’t like that, and honestly, getting fired from the UFC for marijuana -- honestly, this whole sport is just politics and hypocrites and everything. I was really tired of it. And it’s not like I’m getting paid that well. I could work at McDonald’s and get paid more. That’s why I retired.”
On why he’s returning: “Because I haven’t stopped training, and when I go in the gym, I do work. I dominate. I’m 28 years old and I’m just in my prime. I’ve been fighting since I was 21, 20 years old. I might as well just finish out these last couple of years regardless of if it’s in the UFC or somewhere else.”
On whether a promoter could worry Riddle might test positive for marijuana again: “Yeah, I guess. … I never failed a drug test before until the UFC gave me one themselves. So I really don’t know. I don’t care. That’s a better answer -- I just don’t care. They let all these other fighters take steroids and abuse other narcotics. God forbid I smoke a joint or I use medical marijuana. I don’t care.”
On whether he’s insinuating anything with the UFC: “I think I’ve insinuated it in the past. You know, they gave me a drug test in London and I failed that after I quit like a month out. It’s whatever. They said I failed. Whatever. They fired me. Other dudes failed drug tests; they keep them on the roster. Whatever. I don’t really care. It’s a bunch of hypocrites and a bunch of douchebags that run the show, and I’m tired of it.”
On his goal with Titan: “I just want to get back out there and fight, like I said. It’s definitely not the money. They’re paying me $5,000 just for everything. That barely covers my expenses for training. So I’m not doing it for the money. This is just so I can get back in there and have fun.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:29:57).