Following his UFC Fight Night 81 loss to Travis Browne, heavyweight Matt Mitirone became a free agent. On Monday, the former professional football player announced that he had inked a deal with Bellator MMA.
Mitrione (9-5) broke the news during an appearance on The MMA Hour. He signed a four-fight contact that also includes a color commentary position with Bellator Kickboxing.
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“I was really interested in the options that Bellator was offering and I was really interested in the conversation they were willing to have. I think that they’re making the rights moves,” Mitrione said. “I think sometimes you get into a spot where the things you fall in love about one organization don’t necessarily seem to be anymore and greener pastures seem to be somewhere else.”
UFC had the opportunity to match Bellator MMA’s offer, but declined to do so. According to Mitrione, he’s guaranteed six-figure paydays for his four fights and will be “making double” what the UFC offered him.
Mitrione made his way to the UFC by appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 10 in 2009, and has never fought for another promotion. He won his first five fights with the organization, but is coming off two consecutive losses.
“Meathead” said that he doesn’t have an animosity toward the UFC, but that the Reebok sponsorship deal played a “massive role” in his decision to sign with Bellator MMA.
“I have no axe to grind with the UFC at all,” Mitrione said. “I don’t think some of the things that happened, especially with the sponsors, were handled as well as they should have been. And I’ve always said my opinion directly to ….View full article