WWE RAW Superstar Riddle once had his budding UFC career cut short for repeatedly testing positive for marijuana. If not for the failed drug tests, Riddle would have held a UFC record of 10–3 with a streak of five consecutive wins in 2013.

Riddle was legally prescribed medical marijuana at the time, but the drug was still banned by athletic commissions. In a recent interview with CBS Sports, Riddle opened up about being discarded by UFC for his lifestyle, and losing a lot of friends in the process.

“For me, it was hard because I got fired from the UFC for my lifestyle and got punished,” Riddle said. “I had a lot of people that stopped talking to me, like, ‘Oh, you’re a loser. You got fired.’ It was brutal but for me, it was like a filter. I tend to deal with certain things and filter out certain people. There were people I thought we were cool and that’s happened with the UFC and with my lifestyle and everything.”

Fast forward eight years later, Riddle is riding high as one of the most popular Superstars in WWE.

“Now, to be at SummerSlam in front of 51,000 people and to see the merchandise flying off the shelves — when I got to the merchandise table and I can’t even get my own shirt or hat, because they’re already sold out? Bro. To know it’s my hard work that did that and that I didn’t give up on myself and believed that I wouldn’t let people tell me what to do. People were saying, ‘You’re wrong. You’re wrong.’ No, I’m not wrong. I’m right and you’re wrong trying to tell me how to live my life.”

Riddle thanked the WWE for embracing him, admitting that he “would have been miserable” if he was forced to change his lifestyle.

“Now, I live my life the way I want to and kept living my life the way I wanted to,” Riddle said. “Now, I’m on top of this game. Just be yourself and it will all come in time. For me, that was it. It was a grind and a journey and there were times where I thought I should change who I was, but I would have been miserable. The more I’m myself, the more people like me and can relate to me. It feels amazing staying true to myself even if it got me fired from the UFC or if I didn’t get jobs earlier in my career. The juice was worth the squeeze and I proved I was right.”

Riddle and Randy Orton, R-K-Bro, successfully defended their RAW Tag Team Titles against WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP in the main event of this week’s RAW.