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Riddle targets future as Maximus Deep Waters

ESPN staff
February 14, 2013 « Bresnan faces fitness race after operation | Chartbeat test »
Matt Riddle: 'I'm there for blood, he's there for blood'

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Matt Riddle concedes there may not be a room big enough to contain the egos of he and Chael Sonnen, but the American insists he would love a future as "Maximus Deep Waters" in pro wrestling.

Riddle prepares to take on Che Mills at Wembley Arena this weekend, and he was in the mood to entertain at Wednesday's press conference, prompting ESPN to ask if he had met fellow enigma Sonnen before.

"Our egos would clash!" Riddle told ESPN. "He seems like he's nicer in person, we've only spoken once, but when he talks on camera he lets people have it! He's pretty intense."

Riddle has not lost since September 2011 and clearly loves the challenge of facing the media, entering Wednesday's press conference by applauding his own arrival before the gathered journalists had time to do so themselves. ESPN asked if he fancied a future in the entertainment world of pro wrestling, and Riddle's eyes lit up.

"I'd love to get into pro wrestling. I wanted to get into pro wrestling before MMA but the UFC picked me up first," he said. "Pro wrestling is awesome, it's the reason I started wrestling in high school and it's the reason why I'm here today. I fight in cage, that's basically pro wrestling, but I do the real thing!

"I'd do the Deep Waters thing and probably change my name to something like Maxwell or Maximus, maybe I'd wear a mask so nobody knew it was me. My mum said if I ever did pro wrestling I'd have to wear a mask because she'd be embarrassed!

"But that's years from now, I'll finish my MMA career in four to five years, have fun, maybe make the top-10, and then hit the pro-wrestling circuit."

Riddle has promised to stand and trade with Mills this weekend, despite his apparent wrestling advantage. Pressed on the issue, Riddle highlighted how the UFC pay structure works, revealing he was paid $180,000 for two defeats.

"Bottom line is I'd rather get into a scrap. In an ideal world, I'd put a foot in a tyre and tell Che to come step into the tyre and let's trade right here," he said. "That's the kind of fight I like. But granted if Che starts circling and hitting me with his jab, I'm probably gonna put him on his back. He knows that.

"But honestly, if you fight the good fight, that's what the UFC wants, that's what the fans want, that's what we like. When people fight with a gameplan, that's when people start booing. I'm there for blood, he's there for blood… it's gonna be awesome.

"The UFC isn't just about wins, it's performance based. I went on a two-fight losing streak and people usually get fired for a two-fight losing streak. I had two Fight of the Nights in a row, so I got two bonuses, one for $100,000 and one for $80,000, and then they gave me a new four-fight contract and a $10,000 raise.

"We're not here to hug each other. I'm not here to hold Che down for 15 minutes and have you boo me. I want blood, I want a brawl, and if we both go and fight we'll get paid a lot more, we'll have way more fun and we'll get a lot more love from the fans."

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