“Ultimate Fighter” season 10 alumni, Matt Mitrione, was given the opportunity to face Daniel Cormier at the final Strikeforce heavyweight bout, but the former pro-football player decided to turn down the opportunity.
“First, I want to thank Dana White and Joe Silva for even offering that fight,” Mitrione said during an interview with Steph Daniels. “It was an honor to get that call, and I would love to fight Daniel Cormier, but I’m just not ready right now. He has Olympic level wrestling, and although I have spent a great deal of time working on my wresting, I don’t feel it would be my best fight back after such a long layoff.”
Cormier was originally scheduled to face Frank Mir on the Nov. 3 fight card, but the latter pulled out due to an injury. Given how imposing Cormier has been during his last two outings, it isn’t that surprising that replacement fighters aren’t standing in line to get the next shot at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner.
Matt Mitrione was critical of current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to turn down a last-minute fight against Chael Sonnen — a choice that ended up leading to the cancellation of the Sept. 1, UFC 151 fight card — so it’s a little ironic that he now finds himself in a similar situation.
However, I can’t hold his decision to decline a fight against Cormier against him.
Cormier isn’t yet a household name, but he’s clearly one of the most dangerous heavyweights around right now. Mitrione might have built himself a decent following thanks to his antics, but he isn’t even close to Cormier’s level.
A win against Cormier would give Mitrione a nice boost up the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim. More than likely, a fight between the two would be one-sided, with Cormier dishing out another vicious beating.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.