Back On Track In The Cage, Matt Mitrione Aims To Put Personal Problems Behind Him

TUF: The Heavyweights veteran Matt Mitrione had his back against the wall heading into his bout against Shawn Jordan at yesterday’s UFC Fight Night Macao. Having lost three out of his previous four bouts, “Meathead” was undoubtedly close to the chopping block despite fighting in one of the more contender-starved divisions in UFC.

He righted the ship with an impressive first round stoppage of “Savage,” earning an extra $50,000 for “Performance of the Night.” Now, it’s time to build on that.

According to Mitrione, a lack of aggression was what caused his problems inside the cage. Outside of it, well, that was all on him, as he described getting back on track at the UFC Fight Night Macao post-fight press conference:

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“We addressed things that I was too hesitant on, especially my defensive wrestling and my offensive aggression when it comes down to a person that wants to wrestle. If I ever lose again, I will never lose because I’m being tentative. We wanted to address that, and I feel like we did that tonight.”

“My personal problems were all self-inflicted, self-imposed. I’m an idiot. I do a lot of dumb things sometimes. I started getting out of my own way a little bit more and let myself get off the path I should be on versus forcing myself to run through the forest.”

That sounds like quite an honest self-assessment from Mitrione, who undoubtedly has some of the best footwork and hand speed in the heavyweight division. However, his tendency to fade against top-level opposition is a concerning one, and “Meathead” needs to add some serious ground skills if he ever wants to be a true force at 265 pounds.

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He could also step back on his comments a bit, as he was in the news for his controversial comments about transgender fighter Fallon Fox. It sounds like Mitrione learned his lesson in that regard and wants to stop standing in his own way. His win yesterday was an excellent way to bounce back, but he still has a lot of work to do.

But with injured heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez appearing to have a stronghold on the title right now, there are more potentially exciting fights than ones with actual title ramifications. Will that open the door to a Mitrione run, or will he remain in the middle of the pack?

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