Matthew Frederick Riddle (January 14, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist and professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its NXT developmental brand. A professional MMA competitor since 2008, Riddle made a name for himself by appearing on SpikeTV's The Ultimate Fighter 7.
Riddle was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and later moved to Saratoga Springs, New York, where he attended Saratoga Springs High School. He graduated from high school in 2004 and then attended East Stroudsburg University, where he was a member of the wrestling team for two years. After his head coach was fired, Riddle lost his wrestling scholarship and moved to MMA.
Mixed martial arts career
Riddle's main experience comes from high school wrestling. He wrestled at Saratoga High School in upstate New York. There Riddle was a National wrestling Champion and in his Senior year was a New York state wrestling champion. He is 1-0 in amateur MMA.
Riddle worked as a roofer and trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the evenings. Since Riddle had little to no money, he did not train at a gym but in his apartment. Riddle used BJ Penn's book, Mixed Martial Arts: The Book of Knowledge to help him learn.
The Ultimate Fighter
Riddle fought Dan Simmler, an understudy of Matt Serra, to get into the 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 The Ultimate Fighter history by Dana White and the knock out of the century by Quinton Jackson. Riddle was picked second for team Rampage. During the show's taping, 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.
During the show, Riddle was consistently shown arguing with the older and more experienced, Dante Rivera. Dante, on more the one occasion, stated that he would retire if Riddle defeated him.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
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).
Riddle was then scheduled to fight Ryan Thomas at UFC 91, but a knee injury had forced Riddle out of the fight. Recovery for the knee injury was scheduled to take 6–8 weeks.
After recovering, Riddle fought and defeated Steve Bruno via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night: Lauzon vs. Stephens.
In his third UFC bout, Riddle defeated another one of his former Ultimate Fighter 7 cast mates, Dan Cramer via unanimous decision on the undercard of UFC 101.
He next faced TUF 9 alumni, 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 Osipczack, 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 was expected to face TJ Grant on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4. However, Riddle was forced from the bout with an injury and replaced by Charlie Brenneman.
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 fight Luis Ramos on December 30, 2011 at UFC 141. However the fight was called off as Riddle became ill and had to pull out just moments before the fight took place.
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. He won the fight via split decision.
The bout between Riddle/Ramos was rescheduled for June 22, 2012 at UFC on FX 4. However, Riddle was forced from the bout with another injury and replaced by Matt Brown.
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 unanimous decision.
Riddle faced Che Mills on February 16, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Barao 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 9-3 with a streak of four consecutive victories.
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 FC 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 is expected to fight at Bellator 109. Once again Riddle pulled out of that fight and has been released from Bellator in total.
Riddle fought fellow former UFC fighter Michael Kuiper in the co-main event of Titan FC 27 on February 28, 2014. Riddle won by second round guillotine choke.
Riddle was expected to face MMA legend Jose Landi-Jons for the vacant TFC 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
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. On July 11, 2015, Riddle won the Monster Factory Heavyweight Championship. On September 15, 2015, it was announced that Riddle had signed with WWNLive 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. Riddle made his debut at EVOLVE 49 on October 17, defeating Jonathan Gresham. During his debut year, Riddle wrestled in the next three Evolve events including EVOLVE 50 where he defeated Chris Dickinson, EVOLVE 51 defeating Drew Gulak, and then two matches at EVOLVE 52 including singles match victory against Tracy Williams, followed by a tag match where he and Timothy Thatcher wrestled team Catch Point (Drew Gulak & TJ Perkins) to a No-Contest finish.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
After three years wrestling on the independent circuit, it was reported during the Summer of 2018, Riddle signed with the WWE. He was first seen in front row at ringside, attending the live NXT TakeOver special on August 24. Riddle's first match was during the September 21 house event, where he defeated Italian recruit Fabian Aichner. The following week at the September 27 house event, Riddle defeated NXT regular Kassius Ohno. He returned the following month at the October 4 Live event where he defeated Kona Reeves. Two nights later at the October 6 house event, Riddle wrestled his first tag match, teaming with Johnny Gargano in defeating Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi. The following week during the October 12 house event, Riddle defeated Dominik Dijakovic. At the following night's house event, Riddle defeated British recruit Luke Menzies. He defeated Menzies in a rematch during the October 17 NXT Tapings. At the October 19 house event, Riddle and Rocky wrestled to a No-Contest finish. Riddle later returned in the show to defeat rookie Mars Wang. Later Riddle once more returned for a third match, defeating Chinese recruit Boa. Finally, Riddle ended his night teaming with Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan in defeating Boa, Mars Wang & Rocky. At the following night's house event, Riddle defeated British recruit Luke Menzies. Seven nights later, Riddle returned for the October 27 Live event, where he competed in the Halloween Costume No. 1 Contendership Battle Royal for the NXT North American Championship. During the November 1 and November 3 house events, Riddle defeated Luke Menzies. Six nights later during the November 9 house event, Riddle defeated NXT recruit Punishment Martinez. At the following night's house event, Riddle defeated Dominik Dijakovic. The following week on November 17, Riddle appeared at NXT TakeOver: WarGames II, where he defeated Kassius Ohno in only seven seconds.
The following year in 2019, Riddle returned for the January 2 episode of NXT, during which Riddle defeated Kassius Ohno. The following month, Riddle returned for the February 6 episode of NXT, during which he defeated Drew Gulak. He spent the remainder of the month in house events, undefeated in singles matches against opponents Luke Menzies, Riddick Moss, Babatunde and Dominik Dijakovic. On the March 20 episode of NXT, Riddle competed in a No.1 Contendership Four-Way match for the NXT Championship. Although he did not succeed in becoming the next contender, Riddle competed in a three-way match for the NXT North American Championship during the March 23 house event against Roderick Strong and the champion Velveteen Dream. The following month, Riddle returned to television on April 5 at NXT TakeOver: New York, wrestling in a singles match against Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Championship. Seven days later during the April 12 house event, Riddle competed for the North American Championship once more in a three-way match involving the champion Velveteen Dream and Adam Cole. He returned to television on the May 8 episode of NXT, defeating Adam Cole. On the May 22 episode of NXT, Riddle returned to team with Johnny Gargano in a tag match lost against members of The Undisputed ERA, Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly. During house events in May, Riddle once more competed for the North American Championship against Velveteen Dream, but did not succeed in winning the title. During the house events, Riddle maintained an undefeated streak, against opponents Adam Cole, Punishment Martinez and Trevor Lee. He returned to television the following month on June 1 at NXT TakeOver: XXV, defeating Roderick Strong. On the June 19 episode of NXT, Riddle teamed with Tyler Breeze and Velveteen Dream in a tag match lost to The Undisputed ERA. During the June 20 house event, Riddle competed once more for the NXT Championship held by Adam Cole. The following month, Riddle wrestled in house events all involving title matches for the NXT Championship but did not succeed in defeating the champion Adam Cole. During the August house events, Riddle remained undefeated in singles matches against Ridge Holland, Pete Dunne and Kassius Ohno. He returned to television during the August 21 episode of NXT, where he lost a match against Killian Dain. The following month, Riddle returned on the September 18 episode of NXT, where his street fight against Killian Dain ended in No-Contest after the members in The Undisputed ERA assaulted Riddle, drawing out other members of the NXT roster into a massive melee. NXT General Manager William Regal then announced a Street Fight rematch would be scheduled the following episode of NXT, requiring both opponents to win within the ring to determine the new No.1 Contender to the NXT Championship. On the September 25 episode of NXT, aired as the season premiere on the USA Channel, the Street Fight was won in the ring by Riddle after submitting Killian Dain to an armbar. Afterwards, NXT Champion Adam Cole entered the ring to taunt Riddle, resulting in Riddle applying the armbar submission to which Cole quickly tapped. Riddle ended the month victorious during his house event matches, defeating Dominik Dijakovic twice in singles competition. On the October 2 episode of NXT, Riddle's title match against Adam Cole ended with Cole retaining the NXT Championship.
Riddle is a father of twin daughters and a son.
- Finishing moves
- Arm-Trapped Elbow Strikes - 2019-present
- Bromission (Twister)
- The Final Flash (Bicycle Knee Strike)
- Bro To Sleep (GTS) - 2014-present
- Tombstone Piledriver - 2015-2018
- BroDerek - (Cradle Tombstone Piledriver) 2016-Present
- Fujiwara armbar
- Signature moves
- Ankle Lock
- Bro-ton (Senton)
- Deadlift Gutwrench Suplex
- Fisherman buster, sometimes avalanche
- German Suplex
- Sleeper Suplex
- Triangle Choke
- "King of Bros"
- "The Original Bro"
- "The OG Bro"
- "The Bro That Runs The Show"
Championships and accomplishments
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship Submission of the Night (1 time) vs. Chris Clements
- Fight of the Night (1 time) vs. Lance Benoist