Taking the fight on short notice, former Ultimate Fighter competitor Matt Riddle stepped into the lion’s den facing Canadian Chris Clements, and it looked like in the early moments of the fight they were both going for an extra paycheck from Dana White.
Riddle and Clements were swinging big with all of their shots, but the former TUF 7 cast member decided to mix in some takedowns to keep his opponent off balance.
While Clements seemed to have the better striking, it was a body kick from Riddle that would have made Bas Rutten proud that almost stopped the fight. Unfortunately as Clements stumbled backwards in pain, referee Josh Rosenthal stepped in to pause the fight apparently believing that it was a low blow and not a body shot.
“Yeah, (Josh) Rosenthal thought I hit him in the nuts or something. It’s all good,” said Riddle about the bizarre pause in the fight.
Riddle forgave the referee for his transgression, but obviously decided to take it out on Clements instead.
The fighters did manage to have some good back and forth exchanges on the feet, but the grappling and wrestling advantage fell into Riddle’s hands every time.
In the final round, Riddle worked for the clinch and with Clements’ arm above his head, he was in the perfect position to snatch an arm triangle choke, even though the fighters were still standing.
Riddle grabbed the submission and tripped Clements to the ground, and a few moments later the Canadian was tapping out.
“I actually change camps, I was working with Robert Drysdale, and his jiu-jitsu is just top notch. It took me to the next level, and now I’m finishing fights with submissions,” Riddle said about the finish.
Riddle has now picked up back to back victories after dropping two fights in a row. The goal however for the former Ultimate Fighter competitor was to give the fans an exciting fight, and he accomplished that on Saturday night.
“I went back to my roots, I had to get the ‘W’,” said a victorious Matt Riddle. “I want this crowd on their feet, this is why I fight, so you guys roar.”