Bellator MMA has officially announced that they have picked up former UFC welterweight Matt Riddle, and that he will fight in the season 9 welterweight tournament. Riddle would be a on a four fight win streak, but he has failed two drug tests for marijuana that has turned two of his victories into no contests. Things became heated between Riddle and the UFC prior to his final fight, and the positive test was all they needed to cut him from the promotion. Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney, who has said time and time again he doesn’t want Bellator to be depository for struggling UFC talent, said that when Riddle became available they took notice.
Bjorn Rebney said:
“Matt’s got all the tools to be a force in our welterweight division. When I saw Matt get released from the UFC coming off 4 straight wins including his dominant win over Mills in February, we took notice. We both realize that Matt will have a target on his back for his past indiscretions. But having discussed it with him, I’m comfortable that he’s in the right place to enter the Bellator cage this fall in what will be the most loaded Bellator Welterweight Tournament in the promotions history.”
Matt Riddle on the new deal:
“I had so many options after I left the UFC, but knowing that I was able to compete in a tournament against guys like Paul Daley, Ben Saunders, and Douglas Lima, signing with Bellator was an easy decision. This division is just so stacked, and being able to fight in a tournament makes it even better. Bellator is doing a lot of great things right now, and I want to be a part of it.”
“No questions asked, I want to win the next Bellator Welterweight Tournament, get my shot at the title and take my beautiful wife to the MTV Awards and meet Snoop Dogg. I’ve seen all the pictures of Bellator guys walking red carpets and it’s something I want to earn and be able to do. What could be better than that?”
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