UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione turned heads by starting out his career 5-0 in the Octagon despite having no professional experience prior to his stint on the Ultimate Fighter 16. Now, with back-to-back losses in the rear-view mirror, Mitrione is in the undesirable position of potentially dropping a third straight when he fights Philip De Fries at UFC on Fuel 9 and knows such a stumble could result in his release.
“My head is on the chopping block, there is a little bit of pressure on externally and let’s go out there and see what I got. Let’s go out there and see what happens,” said a surprisingly realistic Mitrione in a recent interview with Bleacher Report.
While Mitrione’s off-color personality has won over a number of fans, he rubbed UFC President Dana White the wrong way last year by turning down a short-notice scrap with Daniel Cormier, making his circumstances even direr than they might normally be. Of course, that doesn’t mean Mitrione is losing any sleep about the prospect of testing free agency.
“Honestly, it doesn’t really affect me because in the UFC you can have one bad fight and get axed out,” stated Mitrione. “That is not any additional pressure but it is a realization that I could get cut if I lose. I pride myself with being as honest with myself as possible, and this is a situation where there definitely is peril if I lose this fight. But I’m not going to lose, so I’m not worried about it.”
The 5-2 has won four of his fights via strike-based stoppage. However, he hasn’t had his hand raised in nearly two years. Fans can catch his bout with De Fries (9-2) on the main portion of Saturday night’s show.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY