Prospect Watch: Brad Riddell

At 27 years old, Brad Riddell has lived one hell of a life. He’s already held a world championship in kickboxing, for one, and has fought and beaten some of the greatest strikers that kickboxing and muay Thai have ever produced. He’s travelled the world, throwing hands, feet and elbows across Thailand, China, Burma, Australia and the Philippines just to name a few, and long ago made combat his full-time job. And now? He’s starting again. At the “bottom of the heap” to use his words, looking out at the frontier of mixed martial arts with the intention of dominating that too.

Riddell’s martial arts journey started at 14 after his brother exposed him to muay Thai highlights on YouTube. After becoming engrossed in the sport from the comfort of his home, he eventually built up the courage to attend his local gym in New Zealand’s South Island, and began competing as an amateur, ultimately abandoning his second sport of Rugby and giving his full focus to combat.

After having four amateur fights, one of which netted him a regional title, Riddell was forced to move to Auckland in 2011 after the Christchurch earthquakes. It was a blessing in disguise, as it put him with the orbit of the famed City Lee Gar gym, the launching pad to a decorated career in kickboxing and muay Thai.

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