Former WWE Star Believes UFC Merger Was A Contributing Factor In Him Being Fired

Before Matt Riddle was a professional wrestler, he was a UFC fighter, and a controversial one at that. In a new interview with "The Kurt Angle Show," Riddle admitted that he felt his behavior in UFC did not help him when the merger between the MMA powerhouse and WWE was finalized in September.

"I think that [the UFC-WWE merger] didn't really help things. Me and Dana White don't have the greatest relationship and I know he's a big part of that. It definitely played a part. I also know they were making budget cuts regardless and I was getting paid a pretty penny," Riddle said. According to "The Original Bro," he was due to make $1 million by the end of the year, thanks to a raise he was given by John Laurinaitis.

"I was gonna get paid a million dollars," Riddle said, "but I also think the merger didn't help and also my behavior didn't help." Riddle got into an altercation with police at JFK International Airport, not long before his release, which saw the former WWE United States Champion accuse a cop of sexual harassment after the allegedly intoxicated incident. With Riddle's non-compete clause expired, the former WWE Superstar debuted in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he'll be challenging NJPW World TV Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW New Beginning In Sapporo on February 23. Riddle recently wrestled his first match for NJPW in San Jose, teaming with United Empire's Jeff Cobb to defeat TMDK's Zack Sabre Jr. and Bad Dude Tito.