Bellator releases Matt Riddle from contract following second fight withdrawal


matthew-riddle-15.jpgBellator today announced the release of Matt Riddle from the promotion following his withdrawal from the organization’s next event.

MMAjunkie could not reach Riddle for comment on his release, and a Bellator official declined to identify the reason for the welterweight’s scratch from Friday’s Bellator 109.

“That’s something you’re going to have to talk to Matt about,” Anthony Mazzuca, Bellator’s Director of Communications, told MMAjunkie.

Greg Sirb, who heads the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission overseeing  the event, said Riddle didn’t complete medical paperwork required to get a fight license.

Before his withdrawal, Riddle was scheduled to face Nathan Coy on the event’s main card before a hometown crowd at Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pa., which is a short drive from his birthplace of Allentown, Pa.

Coy will now be rescheduled for a later event, Mazzuca said. Bellator 109's main card airs live on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.

Riddle, 27, announced his retirement shortly after a cracked rib forced him to withdraw from Bellator’s Season 9 welterweight tournament. Three weeks later, he changed his mind and agreed to fight at Bellator 109.

Riddle told MMAjunkie he called it quits when Bellator couldn’t immediately guarantee him a fight later in the season, but was convinced to return when the promotion advanced him money and booked him for the November event.

Now, the fighter goes back to the drawing board.

“Matt was a guy we had high hopes for coming into Bellator,” Mazzuca stated in a prepared statement. “After Matt suffered his rib injury and withdrew from our tournament, we went back to the drawing board and got Matt another fight on November 22nd. Unfortunately, Matt very recently informed us he would not be fighting on November 22nd from Bethlehem, and at that point we decided to release Matt from Bellator. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

A veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter 7,” Riddle fought his entire career in the UFC and earned a record of 7-3 with two no-contests, both of which stemmed from testing positive for marijuana. After testing positive for the drug following his unanimous decision over Che Mills in February at UFC on FUEL TV 7, the UFC released him from his contract.

Riddle defended his use of marijuana and revealed that he is a licensed medical marijuana patient in Nevada.

For more on Bellator 109, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Updated at 12:28 ET to include comments from PSAC Executive Director Greg Sirb. 

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