- It looks like more hard times are in store for Matt Riddle, who was released from Bellator recently before even getting a chance to fight for the promotion. Riddle -- who was released from the UFC earlier this year after failing two drug tests for marijuana -- has been let go from Bellator after two planned bouts fell through.
"Matt was a guy we had high hopes for coming into Bellator," Bellator Director of Communications Anthony Mazzuca. "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, Pennsylvania, and at that point we decided to release Matt from Bellator. We wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Following his release from the UFC, the 27-year-old announced his retirement; as of now, Riddle has not made a statement regarding his plans for the future in the wake of his latest release. He last appeared in action last February, when he had a split decision win over Che Mills overturned as a result of a failed drug test.
"We put together a fight worthy of Super Bowl weekend," UFC president Dana White said. "It's the fight that everyone has been waiting for - champion vs. champion - Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao for the 135-pound title. Dominick Cruz is the reigning champion and hasn't lost a fight in six years. He takes on the interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who's been on a tear with a 30-fight win streak and hasn't lost in eight years. Two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, two of the best 135-pounders on earth: the world is finally going to find out who is the undisputed 135-pound champion!
"Plus, the unstoppable Jose Aldo takes on the man everyone has been waiting to see him fight, Ricardo Lamas. Aldo has been the 145-pound a champion since 2009 and he's torn through the featherweight division. But Ricardo Lamas has heavy hands, great wrestling and will be the toughest test of Aldo's career."
UFC 169 doesn't have a full roster yet, but will also feature a do-or-die heavyweight tilt between Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem, as well as a flyweight bout between Chris Cariaso and Kyoji Horiguchi. The event will take place on February 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
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