No guesswork with Riddle
Story by Andreas Hale
Although his last name is “Riddle,” there isn’t much guessing to do when it comes to what the TUF season 7 cast member plans to do when he steps into the Octagon with former cast mate Dan Cramer at UFC 101.
“I’m just going to stand and bang with him. If he gets the better of me there, I’ll just take him down and smash him.” Matt Riddle says when discussing his upcoming fight. “I told the UFC ‘if you guys want me to smash somebody, give me Dan Cramer.’”
Riddle may be best known for utterly destroying Dan Simmler in what has been called the biggest knockout in TUF history according to Dana White. Riddle would later be knocked out of the tournament after losing to Tim Credeur but his mark had already been made. Riddle would go on to beat former cast mate Dante Rivera at the TUF 7 finale and had a bright future ahead.
Hoever, injuries have slowed down the man nicknamed “Chipper” by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. A knee injury kept him out of a UFC 91 fight with Ryan Thomas and out of action for nearly a year. He rebounded from the injury and defeated Steve Bruno at UFC Fight Night back in February. However, the injury has put a damper on Riddle’s jujitsu training since then. Now, Riddle says that he is refreshed and ready to get back to work.
“I’m pretty tough and I already had knee surgery done when I was a senior in high school and I won state three weeks after surgery that time,” he says. “This time I fought eight weeks after I had surgery and beat Steve Bruno. I’m used to training and rehabbing myself after I’m hurt.”
Now he is set to fight Dan Cramer and Riddle doesn’t seem to be phased at all by the American Top Team fighter.
“Whenever we practiced on the show I’d beat him up and I feel like I’m just going to beat him up again for three 5 minute rounds. It’s just going to be real instead of practice,” Riddle says. “I know he’s improved a lot since he’s training with American Top Team. If he didn’t improve a lot then there would be something wrong with him. He’s been at American Top Team since he was 18. I know for a fact that Steve Bruno is someone he trained with all the time and I smashed him out.”
Because of the injury, Riddle has been forced to focus more on his standup than his Jujitsu - which might be scary considering what he has done in the past.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I had any standup until I went and did TUF. I’ve gotten into scraps before and knocked people out, but that’s just one thing. To knock out another professional, that’s another thing entirely,” he explains. “I’ve cracked people but I’ve used my punching for a setup for the takedown. Then on TUF I found out I had really heavy hands.”
The game plan for Riddle is simple. Stand and bang.
“I’ve been working on my stand up because I want to bang with him. I been working on countering with the right hand because I know he’s going to throw the right hand at me,” Riddle says before explaining that he’s finally been able to work on is ground game again. “I’ve been working on taking people down, smashing and submitting them. I have been working a lot on my ground game.”
Ultimately, Riddle says that this fight is going to be “bad news” for Cramer. When asked if he plans on ending it like the Simmler fight, Riddle takes pause and gives a surprising answer.
“I’m going to throw bombs, don’t worry. I’m going more for what Dan Henderson did to Michael Bisping at UFC 100.”
Looks like it may be a pretty brutal ending if Riddle has his way at on August 8th.