(Funny how this moment more or less serves as a metaphor for the past two years of Riddle’s life.)
Ever since being ousted from the UFC following his second positive test for marijuana in his past three fights, Matt Riddle‘s MMA career has suffered more setbacks than the Obamacare website (#nailedit). First, he signed with Legacy Fighting Championships, only to have his contract bought out by Bellator before ever stepping foot in the LFC cage. He was then entered in the Bellator season 9 welterweight tournament, except that shortly thereafter, he injured his rib and decided to retire from the sport to find a “real job.” Except that less than a month later, Riddle announced his unretirement and accepted a fight at Bellator 109.
Unfortunately for Riddle, it looks like he will have to start looking for a “real job” once again (I hear Josh Rosenthal is seeking an understudy/mule), as he has now been released from his Bellator contract after pulling out of his second straight fight. Said Bellator Director of Communications Anthony Mazzuca in a prepared statement (via MMAFighting):
Matt was a guy we had high hopes for coming into Bellator. After Matt suffered his rib injury and withdrew from our tournament, we went back to the drawing board and got Matt another fight on November 22nd.
Unfortunately, Matt very recently informed us he would not be fighting on November 22nd from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and at that point we decided to release Matt from Bellator. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Further muddying the “Deep Waters” (I’m so sorry, you guys) is the fact that no solid reasoning has been given for Riddle’s withdrawal from the card. As you might expect, Riddle’s scheduled opponent, Nathan Coy, is understandably pissed (via BloodyElbow):
He bailed out. I’m not happy about it.
As far as I know, maybe he was sick and didn’t get the proper training in. I’d love to have him in the first round of the tournament and smash him up. Maybe he wants to put it off. I’ll fight him no problem. If he wants to wait until he can be better another day, I’m fine with that. Just make sure you man up and fight that day. I don’t know what he’s trying to accomplish here by playing games. This is my livelihood. I’m supporting my family by doing this. I needed this opportunity like he needed this opportunity. It’s his hometown. What the hell’s going on? He should be thrilled to fight on that card. Apparently not. Apparently he doesn’t want that.
Let’s fight, you’re a fighter. This is what we got into the sport for, to test ourselves.
For whatever reason, I am only reminded of that awesome Little Caesar’s Pizza commercial when reading Coy’s reaction. You know the one…
Dammit, now I just want to get super high and eat five dollar pizza until my intestines explode. Does that count as walking a mile in Riddle’s shoes?