Recently signed WWE NXT star Matt Riddle has come a long way in his professional wrestling career. From getting a start as a promising mixed martial artist in the UFC, to becoming one of indy wrestling’s biggest stars, to now signing a contract with WWE.
Riddle spoke to MMA Junkie recently about the transition from MMA to pro wrestling. During their conversation, Riddle admits that he misses fighting sometimes:
“I do miss it,” Riddle said. “I watch the fights. I watched Tyron Woodleydominate this week. I feel bad for the fighters and I know exactly – things are a little different now – but I know my world when I was in MMA, everything was tough. Life was just so tough.
“Everything was a struggle. Bills were a struggle. Even when you’re on top in the UFC, you only get paid a couple times a year. I’m just really glad to have that all behind me and focus on my craft.”
Riddle also offered his thoughts on MMA fighters who have also made the transition over to wrestling:
“There’s a lot of people making the transition and doing it well,” Riddle said. “There are other guys that are doing great – and women – you’ve got Ronda and Shayna (Baszler), Jessamyn Duke. You’ve got Tom Lawlor, you’ve got me.
“There’s a lot of guys like ‘King Mo,’ for example, who is a big fan of professional wrestling, world-class fighter, world-class athlete, but I don’t think he’s the greatest pro wrestler. It’s more than moves and athleticism. It’s that charisma.”