Matt Riddle calls off MMA retirement, re-set for Bellator 109 debut in November

Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

Former UFC welterweight Matt Riddle is set to make his return to the cage at Bellator 109 this November despite announcing his retirement just a few weeks ago. Why the change of heart? Read on for the details.

Well, that didn't last long.

Just a few short weeks after announcing his mixed martial arts (MMA) retirement, erstwhile Ultimate Fighting Championship Welterweight washout -- and unapologetic stoner -- Matthew Riddle has apparently decided to forgo a career in the "real world."

At least for now ...

Earlier this afternoon, Riddle (via MMAJunkie.com) revealed that he is emerging from self-imposed retirement after a whopping 24 days on the shelf. In a sport notorious for short-lived retirements, this may be a new record for fastest change of heart from a fighter who claimed he was done forever.

According to Riddle, his disenchantment with MMA came as result of his new employer, Bellator MMA, being unable to schedule him for a fight in 2013 after a rib injury in training forced him out of a scheduled 170-pound tournament bout at Bellator 100 last month.

With bills mounting and mouths to feed, the father of three felt he needed to pursue other avenues of employment if Bellator wasn't going to take care of him financially.

However, little more than three weeks later, Riddle is now whistling a more positive tune.

From the aforementioned report:

"Honestly, I was pissed. So, I was like, 'If I can't fight, I'm going to retire.' I basically threw a hissy fit and retired. (But Bellator) called me up and said, 'Bro, we didn't realize your situation.' They gave me an advance, they gave me money and the fight in November, and they've already got me scheduled for the tournament in January or February."

Bellator stepping up and helping Riddle out of his financial pinch comes as a rare bit of positive public relations for a promotion that has recently come under fire for its behind the scenes dealings with fighters.

Bellator 109, which takes place at Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pa., on Nov. 22, 2013, will mark Riddle's return to the cage following a second positive marijuana test result that earned the medical marijuana card-holder his walking papers from UFC back in Feb. 2013.

Luckily for Riddle, if the promotion's current welterweight champ Ben Askren is to believed, Bellator's drug testing policies are, shall we say, somewhat less than stringent.

The real question here is if Riddle will once again walk to the cage to the hazy strains of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" like he did toward the end of his UFC run, or if he will opt for a new stoner anthem this time around.

Might I suggest Cheech and Chong's, "Earache My Eye?"

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