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Matt Mitrione’s gig with Bellator kickboxing had nothing to do with Bellator MMA

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Matt Mitrione was a free-agent fighter over the winter, in talks with the UFC and Bellator MMA. Without a contract and exploring all his options, Mitrione was put in touch with Reed Bergman of Playbook, Inc., by former NFL teammate Jesse Palmer.

Bergman is a former agent who now helps athletes land television broadcast jobs, among other things. He has worked with Palmer and Michael Strahan, another friend of Mitrione and the co-host of the massively popular morning show “Live with Kelly and Michael.”

Not long after Mitrione and Bergman were in contact, Playbook, Inc., reached out to Mitrione about an audition in New York City. It ended up, ironically, being for the color commentator role for the new Bellator Kickboxing. Mitrione’s Bellator MMA negotiations had nothing to do with this gig.

“I could be wrong, but I didn’t even think the left hand talked to the right hand to know that I was auditioning,” Mitrione told MMA Fighting at a recent Bellator media day.

Mitrione knocked the audition out of the park and landed the job. There was just one problem. He couldn’t be a broadcaster for Bellator while still fighting for the UFC. Luckily for Mitrione, everything worked out perfectly. Bellator MMA offered him more money and he signed a contract with the mixed martial arts promotion. Now, he’s a Bellator MMA fighter and a Bellator Kickboxing commentator. And the two things happened separate from each other.

“It was madness,” Mitrione said.

The former “Ultimate Fighter” castmate and UFC heavyweight will make his on-air debut Saturday alongside play-by-play man Sean Grande for Bellator Kickboxing’s inaugural show in Turin, Italy. Mitrione is, of course, still focused on fighting. But he said he did plenty of prep for this new role.

“I’m a professional,” Mitrione said. “That’s why. … I take pride ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting