Exclusive: Former UFC Fighter Matt Riddle Talks TUF Contracts, Fighters Association


Fightful.com's Matt Riddle has never been hesitant to talk about his tumultuous time in the UFC. Upon learning about last week's MMA Athletes Association, Riddle said that the proposed settlement to former fighters appeals to him directly. 

“Oh god, dude, if they had to pay me out some money right now, that would make my 2017. That’d be the ultimate “f*ck you, bro, you gotta pay me for my time,” Riddle said on his Thursday podcast from China. "Honestly, I’m excited. Especially because I didn’t expect (Bjorn Rebney) to hop on that, but if he’s on board, that’s even better … more power to him. I remember when me and Jon Fitch before we were both fired and we were actually in the same car talking about a union or a fighter’s association, and literally we both got sh*t-canned like three weeks later. But I wish all those guys the best, I really hope it goes through, and that’s the direction this sport needs to go in, you know? So fingers crossed.”

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Riddle knows the UFC is always in cost-cutting mode, but things that the alleged 8 percent of revenue that fighters receive just isn't enough. Riddle also thinks that part of the reason he was fired was because otf the money he was earning.

“It can’t be 8%, that’s absurd, it really is. Even pushed up to 20% would probably change a lot of people’s lives in the UFC, you know? I’ll be honest, when they fired me, yes they had their reasons, but one of the big reasons was that they were paying me like 25 and 25 a fight, and they would rather pay an Ultimate Fighter contestant 8 and 8 right off the show, and that Ultimate fighter contract lasts for 7 fights or 8 fights, or however long, and you really have to win 3 fights in one calendar year to get a 2000 dollar raise. … I went on a three fight win streak, and I was like I’m finally going to get a raise, and they were like ‘sorry, it wasn’t in one calendar year.’ … And Joe Silva books your fights, so they know what they’re doing, they’re not going to give you three fights in one calendar year after the Ultimate Fighter, so you won’t get a raise, they do it on purpose," said Riddle.

The Evolve pro wrestler opened up about his Ultimate Fighter contract and subsequent raises. Riddle admitted on the Fightful.com Podcast that the company wasn't happy with how his fight with Che Mills went, which he feels has more to do with his firing than his subsequent failed test for marijuana.

The good thing about the Ultimate Fighter is you get a lot of good TV and press, but at the same time, you sell yourself. They own you, and you have no right to negotiate or anything, they just own you. And that $100,000 contract isn’t a $100,000 contract, it’s ‘If you fight six times, you’ll make up to $100,000.’ … So it’s like a $15,000 contract, really. I fought all my fights on it (the Ultimate Fighter contract) and then they had to re-write me a contract and pay me more, and I was getting “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” and all of that, so they kept increasing my pay accordingly and then they were really furious with my last fight, because I talked a lot of sh*t, told them I wasn’t going to finish Che Mills, and I didn’t, I took him down and rode him, beat him up enough that I didn’t get stood up, and then they said ‘Don’t come to the press conference,’ and then they fired me two days later," explained Riddle.

You can see Matt Riddle's podcast each Thursday on Fightful.com, and gain early access to show by registering for a free account.

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