Since being released from the UFC following his second positive test for marijuana in his past three fights, TUF 7 alum Matt Riddle has been doing his damnedest to burn every last bridge that might possibly connect him to the organization he has literally built his entire professional MMA career in. And while Riddle succeeded in raising some interesting questions regarding the UFC’s policy of hiring and firing fighters during his recent interview on The MMA Hour, he also succeeded in completely sabotaging any potential of a return trip to the sport’s highest promotion, which according to him, is something he would prefer:
What I see happening is, a year or two from now the UFC calls me back after I’ve won probably like five or six fights, hopefully. And I’ll probably, at the time, say, ‘No.’ Because I really don’t like the direction they’re taking the company. They’re firing high-level talent so they can have lower level talent just scrap, and they’d rather have a brawl than a good technical fight. I think that’s going to be their downfall, because the fans are getting more educated. They’re getting smarter, and they don’t want to just see a slugfest and two retarded guys with brain damage bleeding everywhere.
Dana White’s response was expectantly blunt. Get it? Blunt? Be honest, that pun is so great you’d probably beat your kids in a fit of jealous rage if you weren’t so goddamn stoned.
Self-sabotage aside, Riddle did raise some interesting points about the UFC’s non-existent policy when it comes to releasing fighters. Most notably, that of fellow
stoner marijuana enthusiast Dave Herman:
But you’ve got to look at guys like Dave Herman. Three fight losing streak, gets knocked out like three times in a row, fails two drug tests for weed, and he’s still in the UFC. And I don’t take anything from Herman, I’m sure he’s a great guy. But I don’t know. I think that’s very hypocritical, and those are politics right there. That’s not good business. That’s you guys getting together, doing a little pow-wow, and being like, ‘Let’s get rid of Riddle. He’s fighting more conservative. He’s going out there for wins. He’s fighting more educated. And I’d rather hire a couple guys from Australia or the U.K. that just brawl, and pay them half as much.
It’s hard to disagree with Riddle’s theory given what Dana White stated about Jon Fitch following his exit from the promotion. And while Herman was forced to attend rehab to keep his job, Riddle was offered no such option. Not that he wouldn’t have taken it.
Obviously, we’re not going to retread the same sub-arguments that inevitably come hand-in-hand with the topic of marijuana in MMA (marijuana vs. TRT, the legality of marijuana in America, etc.). While Riddle points out some obvious flaws in the UFC’s policy of firing and hiring fighters, he fails to realize (or just neglects to mention) that until the fighters of the UFC form some sort of union, DW and friends will continue to hire and fire whoever the hell they want, when they want.
Of course, no bridge-burning ceremony would be complete without a conspiracy theory or two, and thankfully Riddle has us covered there:
A lot of lawyers think I have a lawsuit for wrongful termination. And, you know, I’m not really trying to go that route, because I like to fight and I’m not really trying to bellyache about it. But at the same time, if didn’t fail a drug test, and something was added to my urine, like Creatine and THC, or something like that, then I would like to know. Because I just think it was just really convenient.
Then even after my fight, Dana White was making comments, ‘Oh, maybe if people started fighting more exciting, unlike Riddle lately.’ He did a couple interviews and mentioned how I haven’t been fighting exciting, and then just so happens, a couple days later I fail a drug test and I get fired. There’s just a couple variables, it just seems really fishy.
Perhaps the most hilarious thing to take away from this statement is the idea that Matt Riddle talks to not one, but multiple lawyers in between bong hits — lawyers that we should probably assume received their degree from the same law school as Frito and Charlie Kelly. But his Rafael Cavalcante-esque conspiracy aside, does anyone agree with the inconsistencies in the UFC’s mentality regarding releasing fighters as pointed out by Riddle?