Riddle in August 2017
Matthew Fredrick Riddle
January 14, 1986
|Residence||Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|Ring name(s)||Matt Riddle|
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||216 lb (98 kg)|
|Billed from||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Trained by||Monster Factory|
|Debut||February 7, 2015|
|Mixed martial arts career|
|Division||Middleweight (2008, 2014)|
|Reach||76 in (190 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Del Rio, Texas|
Las Vegas, Nevada
|Team||Throwdown Training Center|
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
A professional MMA fighter from 2008 to 2014, Riddle made a name for himself by appearing on SpikeTV's The Ultimate Fighter 7 and went on to hold a four-fight win streak in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) before he was fired upon testing positive for marijuana in February 2013. He also fought for Titan FC and compiled a career record of 8–3 (2).
In 2014, Riddle began training at the Monster Factory for a career in professional wrestling and made his debut in February 2015. Readers of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter recognized him as the wrestling Rookie of the Year and Most Improved wrestler of the year in 2016. Between 2015 and 2018, he worked on the independent circuit, wrestling for promotions such as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, World Wrestling Network, Evolve, and others. He is a former Evolve Champion, WWN Champion, PWG World Tag Team Champion (with Jeff Cobb), and two-time Progress Atlas Champion.
He signed with WWE in 2018 and was assigned to the NXT brand, where he was a one-time NXT Tag Team Champion (with Pete Dunne), having become champions after winning the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
Matthew Fredrick Riddle was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on January 14, 1986. He later moved to Saratoga Springs, New York, where he attended Saratoga Springs High School and was a state wrestling champion in 2004. During his high school career, he pinned future UFC champion Jon Jones. He later attended East Stroudsburg University, where he was a member of the wrestling team for two years and won many championships. After his head coach was fired, Riddle lost his wrestling scholarship and began his transition into MMA.
Mixed martial arts career
The Ultimate Fighter
Riddle is 1-0 in amateur MMA. During his amateur career, he worked as a roofer and trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the evenings. Riddle credits BJ Penn's book, Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge, in helping him learn during his early years in MMA.
Riddle fought Dan Simmler, an understudy of Matt Serra, to get into The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) house. Riddle knocked out Simmler in the opening seconds of the second round and struck him three times in the jaw after he had lost consciousness, breaking Simmler's jaw in two places. It was called the biggest knockout in TUF history by Dana White and the knock out of the century by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Riddle was picked second overall for Team Rampage. During his involvement on show, Riddle was given the nickname Chipper after Rampage noticed him always smiling.
Riddle's second fight was against Tim Credeur. Credeur defeated Riddle via armbar in the second round, knocking Riddle out of the tournament. After the fight, Credeur bought Riddle an Xbox 360 with his earnings.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2013)
At The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale held on June 21, 2008, Riddle made his UFC and professional debut defeating fellow Ultimate Fighter castmate, Dante Rivera, via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, 30–27). During The Ultimate Fighter 7, Riddle was shown multiple times arguing with the older and more experienced Rivera. Dante, on more than one occasion, stated that he would retire if Riddle defeated him.
He next faced The Ultimate Fighter 9 alumnus Nick Osipczak on November 14, 2009 at UFC 105. The fight was held in Osipczak's home country of England. Riddle lost the fight by TKO in the third round.
After his loss to Osipczak, Riddle faced UFC newcomer Greg Soto on March 27, 2010 at UFC 111. After a dominant first two rounds for Riddle, Soto landed an illegal upkick to Riddle's head in the third round which rendered him unable to continue, giving Riddle the victory by disqualification.
Riddle faced DaMarques Johnson on August 1, 2010 at UFC on Versus 2. The fight was a catchweight bout after Johnson weighed in at 172 lbs and Riddle would go on to win the fight via TKO due to punches near the end of round 2.
Riddle was expected to face TJ Waldburger on December 11, 2010 at UFC 124. However, Waldburger was forced from the card with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Sean Pierson. Pierson defeated Riddle via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) and the bout was dubbed by UFC president Dana White as the real Fight of the Night.
Riddle was expected to face Ultimate Fighter castmate, Matt Brown, on March 3, 2011, at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann, replacing an injured Mark Scanlon. However, Riddle was also injured, resulting in the Brown fight being scrapped from the card altogether.
Riddle faced undefeated welterweight prospect Lance Benoist who was making his Octagon debut on September 17, 2011 at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger. He lost the fight via unanimous decision in a bout that earned Fight of the Night honors.
Riddle was expected to face Jorge Lopez on February 4, 2012 at UFC 143, replacing an injured Amir Sadollah. However, Lopez was also forced out of the bout and replaced by promotional newcomer Henry Martinez. Riddle won the fight via a split decision.
Riddle stepped in for Siyar Bahadurzada on short notice to fight Chris Clements at UFC 149. Riddle won the fight after catching Clements in a standing arm-triangle choke, forcing him to submit at 2:02 in the third round. Riddle won a $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus; this also marked the first submission win of his professional career. On October 20, 2012, it was announced that Riddle had failed his post fight drug test, testing positive for marijuana. Riddle was subsequently fined and suspended for 90 days, retroactive to July 21, 2012. His win over Clements was changed to a No Contest.
Riddle was originally expected to face Besam Yousef on November 17, 2012 at UFC 154, replacing an injured Stephen Thompson. However, Yousef was forced out with injury and replaced by John Maguire. Riddle defeated Maguire via a unanimous decision.
Riddle faced Che Mills on February 16, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Barão vs. McDonald. Riddle defeated Mills via split decision. On February 26, 2013, Riddle revealed that he had tested positive for marijuana. This was his second failed drug test within a year, and Riddle was subsequently released from the promotion. He finished his UFC career ranked 3rd in UFC history for takedown defense (89.3%) and 8th for total strikes landed (1350), and without positive marijuana tests would have held an octagon record of 10-3 with a streak of five consecutive victories.
Bellator MMA (2013)
Shortly after being released from the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), Riddle signed a multi-fight deal with Texas-based promotion, Legacy Fighting Championships. However, on May 18, 2013, it was announced that Riddle instead joined the Bellator MMA roster after his Legacy contract had been purchased by the promotion. Riddle was expected to compete in the Bellator's welterweight tournament during their ninth season which begins in the Fall of 2013. However Riddle cracked his rib and had to pull out of the tournament, and subsequently retired from MMA fighting due to financial reasons. A few weeks later Riddle came out of retirement and was expected to fight at Bellator 109. Once again Riddle pulled out of that fight and was subsequently released.
Titan FC (2014)
Riddle was expected to face MMA legend Jose Landi-Jons for the vacant Welterweight Championship at Titan FC 29 on August 22, 2014. However, Landi-Jons was forced out of the bout due to visa issues, and was replaced by UFC veteran Ben Saunders. However, Riddle was forced out of the bout due to injury and was replaced by the man he was originally scheduled to face, Jose Landi-Jons.
Professional wrestling career
Independent circuit (2014–2018)
On October 29, 2014, it was reported that Riddle was training for a career in professional wrestling. Riddle made his professional wrestling debut on February 7, 2015, at the Monster Factory in Paulsboro, New Jersey. In July 2015, he won the Monster Factory Heavyweight Championship. On September 15, 2015, it was announced that Riddle had signed with the World Wrestling Network (WWN) to work the October Evolve events. Riddle later confirmed that he had taken part in a WWE tryout, which led to them setting up the booking with Evolve. On January 24, 2016, Riddle won Evolve's Style Battle tournament. On April 8, it was reported that Riddle had signed a contract with Evolve's parent company WWN. On September 3, Riddle made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), entering the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles tournament, from which he was eliminated in his first round match by Kyle O'Reilly. In October 2016, Riddle took on Cody Rhodes at New York promotion House of Glory's show titled Unbreakable in a losing effort.
On January 15, 2017, Riddle defeated Rampage Brown to win the Progress Atlas Championship. Riddle debuted for Revolution Pro Wrestling on January 21, unsuccessfully challenging Katsuyori Shibata for the British Heavyweight Championship. On February 11 at CZW 18, Riddle faced David Starr in an inter-promotional champion vs champion match, with Riddle defending Progress Wrestling's Atlas Championship and Starr defending wXw's Shotgun Championship. The match ended in a double disqualification, and neither championship changed hands. On April 1, Riddle defeated five other men to become the inaugural WWN Champion. On August 5 Riddle won The Scenic City Invitational Tournament. On October 20, Riddle and Jeff Cobb, known collectively as "The Chosen Bros", defeated the Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix and Penta el Zero M) for the PWG World Tag Team Championship. They retained the titles until April 20, 2018, when they lost them against The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier).
On July 31, 2018, it was reported by Uproxx that Riddle had signed a contract with WWE. On August 18, Riddle appeared at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV and was identified by the event's commentators as WWE's newest signing.
Riddle's NXT debut was on the October 31 edition when he successfully defeated Luke Menzies. On November 17, 2018 on the pre-show of NXT TakeOver: WarGames II, Kassius Ohno interrupted a Riddle interview. When the show started, Riddle challenged Ohno to a match and defeated him in 6 seconds, winning the fastest match in NXT history. Riddle and Ohno had a rematch at NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, where Riddle made Ohno submit with a series of elbow strikes to the head. In 2019, WWE Network released a documentary on his wrestling career and entry into NXT entitled Arrival: Matt Riddle.
Throughout March, Riddle would start a feud with the NXT North American Champion, Velveteen Dream. On April 5, at NXT TakeOver: New York, Riddle challenged Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Championship, but was unsuccessful, ending his undefeated streak in NXT. In July, Riddle started a feud with the returning Killian Dain. On the August 7 episode of NXT, Riddle was supposed to face Dain, but it never happened as they brawled before the match happened. The two brawled at NXT TakeOver: Toronto and eventually faced each other on the August 21 episode of NXT, where Dain was victorious, but Riddle attacked Dain after the match. On the premiere episode of NXT on the USA Network on Sept 18, Riddle fought Dain in a Street Fight but ended in a no contest. A week later on the Sept 25 episode of NXT, Riddle again fought Dain in a Street Fight but this the winner would be the #1 Contender for the NXT Championship which Riddle won by submission. On the Oct 2nd episode of NXT, Riddle unsuccessfully challenged NXT Champion Adam Cole.
On the November 1 episode of SmackDown, Riddle and Keith Lee were one of the many NXT wrestlers to invade the show, confronting and ultimately attacking Sami Zayn. Later that night, Riddle joined Triple H and the rest of the NXT roster as they declared war on both Raw and SmackDown, and vowed to win the Survivor Series brand warfare. In November, Riddle would start feuding with Finn Bálor. On the November 13 episode of NXT, Finn Bálor insulted the NXT roster as “all boys who can't take a beating”, specifically mentioning Johnny Gargano and Matt Riddle. Riddle attacked Bálor, who retreated. Riddle was originally part of Team Ciampa for NXT Takeover: Wargames but on the Nov 13 episode of NXT, Riddle got taken off Team Ciampa due to Riddle having a match with Bálor at Wargames at the event Riddle lost to Bálor. The following night at Survivor Series, Riddle was part of Team NXT in a losing effort to Team SmackDown also involving Team Raw during the match Riddle eliminated Randy Orton with a roll-up pin before being laid out with an RKO that caused him to be eliminated by King Corbin. Riddle participated in the Royal Rumble match at the namesake pay-per-view and entered at #23 but was eliminated by Corbin in 41 seconds.
On the January 10, 2020 episode of NXT, the participants of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic were announced, with Riddle and Pete Dunne being announced as surprise participants; they would later take on the name of The BroserWeights, a portmanteau of Riddle's "Original Bro" nickname and Dunne's "Bruiserweight" nickname. Together, they defeated Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in the first round on January 15, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel of Imperium in the semifinals on January 22, and Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) in the finals on January 29 to win the tournament and earn a match against Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly of The Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver: Portland. At the event on February 16, Riddle and Dunne defeated Fish and O'Reilly to win the titles, marking Riddle's first title win in WWE. When Dunne couldn't travel to the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he picked Timothy Thatcher as his replacement for Riddle's partner. Riddle and Thatcher would lose the titles against Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) on the May 13 episode of NXT after Thatcher walked out on him. On the May 27 episode of NXT Riddle and Thatcher fought in a Fight Pit match, with WWE Hall of Famer, Kurt Angle as the special guest referee, where Riddle lost to Thatcher by technical submission. This would turn out to be Riddle's last match in NXT.
Main roster (2020–present)
On May 29, 2020, it was announced by Kurt Angle that Riddle would be moving to the SmackDown brand. On the June 19 episode of SmackDown, Riddle made his main roster debut, where he interrupted Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles before defeating Styles in a non-title match. On the July 3, 2020 episode of SmackDown Riddle defeated the three time former WWE Intercontinental champion John Morrison.
Riddle married Lisa Rennie in 2011. He is the father of fraternal twin daughters and a son.
Riddle is close friends with fellow wrestler Drew Gulak.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
State Wrestling Championship(1)
- 5 Star Wrestling
- 5 Star Tap or Snap Championship (1 time)
- Beyond Wrestling
- Tournament for Today Men (2016)
- Hope Wrestling
- Hope 24/7 Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- IWA Mid-South
- Revolution Strong Style Tournament (2018)
- Keystone Pro Wrestling
- Monster Factory Pro Wrestling
- Monster Factory Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Progress Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Chaos
- King of Chaos Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- Scenic City Invitational
- Scenic City Invitational Tournament (2017)
- Sports Illustrated
- Ranked #5 of the 10 Best Male Wrestlers of 2018
- Style Battle
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
- Ambi(2017) WWNLive
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|13 matches||8 wins||3 losses|
|Win||8–3 (2)||Michael Kuiper||Submission (guillotine choke)||Titan Fighting Championship 27||February 28, 2014||2||2:29||Kansas City, Kansas, United States||Middleweight bout|
|NC||7–3 (2)||Che Mills||NC (overturned)||UFC on Fuel TV: Barão vs. McDonald||February 16, 2013||3||5:00||London, England||Originally a split decision win for Riddle. Result overturned after he tested positive for cannabis.|
|Win||7–3 (1)||John Maguire||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 154||November 17, 2012||3||5:00||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|NC||6–3 (1)||Chris Clements||NC (overturned)||UFC 149||July 21, 2012||3||2:02||Calgary, Alberta, Canada||Originally an arm-triangle submission win for Riddle. Submission of the Night. Result overturned after he tested positive for cannabis.|
|Win||6–3||Henry Martinez||Decision (split)||UFC 143||February 4, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||5–3||Lance Benoist||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger||September 17, 2011||3||5:00||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Loss||5–2||Sean Pierson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 124||December 11, 2010||3||5:00||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Win||5–1||DaMarques Johnson||TKO (punches)||UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko||August 1, 2010||2||4:29||San Diego, California, United States||172 lb Catchweight bout; Johnson missed weight|
|Win||4–1||Greg Soto||DQ (illegal upkick)||UFC 111||March 27, 2010||3||1:30||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||3–1||Nick Osipczak||TKO (elbows and punches)||UFC 105||November 14, 2009||3||3:53||Manchester, England|
|Win||3–0||Dan Cramer||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 101||August 8, 2009||3||5:00||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||2–0||Steve Bruno||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Lauzon vs. Stephens||February 7, 2009||3||5:00||Tampa, Florida, United States||Welterweight debut|
|Win||1–0||Dante Rivera||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale||June 21, 2008||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|2 matches||1 win||1 loss|
|Loss||1–1||Tim Credeur||Submission (armbar)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest||April 23, 2008 (air date)||1||4:06||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||TUF 7 Quarter Final round|
|Win||1–0||Dan Simmler||KO (punch)||April 9, 2008 (air date)||2||0:09||TUF 7 elimination round|
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