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Matt Mitrione Turns Down Daniel Cormier Fight, Pisses Off Dana White

When Frank Mir got injured and had to pull out of his scheduled fight with Strikeforce champion Daniel Cormier for their scheduled November 3rd fight Dana White asked UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione to fill in for Mir. On Saturday White told reporters that Mitrione had turned down the fight and that he was not happy about it.

“It fucking makes me sick,” White said, according MMA Junkie. “Listen, you don’t want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it, then. All I can say is, I guess he doesn’t want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted.”

White went on to say that Mitrione’s decision to just continue to train for his already scheduled December 29th against Phil De Fries was “fucking insane.”

“It makes no sense to me, and it’s insane. I’m a little bummed out by it. We’ll figure it out. Yeah, [Mitrione has already got a fight booked]. He said, ‘I’ll just take that one.’”

There’s no reason to be surprised that White took a few moments after an unrelated event to call Mitrione insane and imply that he is a coward, since throwing his fighters under the bus when they make a decision that doesn’t immediately make his own life easier is the norm for White. But choosing Matt Mitrione as a scapegoat is particularly strange in this instance.

If White offered Mitrione a substantial raise, in effect, to fight Cormier and save that November Strikeforce event, he didn’t say so. Absent that, it is hard to understand what White meant when he said this was a “big opportunity,” for Mitrione.

Matt Mitrione is a UFC fighter with, perhaps, more name recognition than Cormier. Mitrione would be giving up a spot on the UFC’s New Year’s Eve card to fight in what will more than likely be a half-full stadium in the UFC’s minor league.

More importantly, Mitrione has no business being in the cage with Cormier at this point. Cormier is smaller than Mitrione but is better at just about everything than the former NFL player.

Sure, Mitrione would stand a chance at landing a big shot on Cormier and winning if they fought, but who could begrudge him for wanting to simply work for an honest pay check instead of trying to win the lottery?

Finding replacement fighters and match ups for cards after injuries has to be one of the most challenging parts of Dana White’s job. But guess what, Prez? It isn’t exactly easy for fighters to cut short training camps or do abbreviated ones in order to fight on short notice, either.

And, by the way, they are the ones in there getting hit. They are also the ones that can get cut by the UFC after a single loss. Mitrione hasn’t fought since 2011 and is coming off a loss to Cheick Kongo.

Against Kongo, Mitrione was game but clearly over matched. How would stepping up against an even better, more dynamic and well-rounded fighter after a long lay-off, and on short notice, be a smart move for Mitrione?

Heck, this or any fight in Strikeforce barely makes any sense for Cormier himself. He won the heavyweight grand prix and is supposedly headed for the UFC on the strength of that performance.

Only thing is, he’s still bound to his Strikeforce contract and owes Showtime a fight. No one even wants to see Cormier fight in Strikeforce anymore, why should Mitrione involve himself in that low-profile, high risk, lame-duck situation of Cormier’s?

What do you think, Nation? Do you see where Mitrione is coming from or do you agree with White that he’s a lily-livered, no-good and insane sport killer?

- Elias Cepeda

Cagepotato Comments

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pogodog7- October 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Dana White is a lucky guy. He gets to bang Ronda Rousey and bad mouth the Meathead for doing to smart thing.
IronClad- October 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Fuck Dana White. He's a vampire.
CrackMasterVanSnap- October 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm
What's wrong with Bingo halls?
1canadiankid78- October 1, 2012 at 5:33 am
Mitrione likes easy fights. He's a journeyman, nothing more.
Clyde- October 1, 2012 at 5:19 am
Having "accept any fight at any time against anyone" as your blanket policy is an apalling idea and will shorten your career. This is very high risk for Mitrione and he doesn't stand to gain much from the unlikely event of a win.

"Sorry Joe McJourneyman, but your fight with Bob Sapp fell through, how'd you like to fight Cain Velasquez next wednesday afternoon in a bingo hall outside of Bumblefuck Nebraska for 50 bucks and a cut of the PPV profits, for an event that isn't available on PPV?"

"I'll take it, I ain't backin down from shit"

Good luck with that. Meathead made the right call.
UFCFightBlogger- September 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm
I think Mitrione should have taken the fight. The guy is still new to MMA, a loss to Cormier would not hurt him. Plus I am sure he would have gotten a big pay day for it. If the fight was good enough for Frank Mir, it has to be good enough to Mitrione.

Rashad Evan also turned down a fight to Glover Teixeira
DanielSoto- September 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Are we really being serious right now? Matt Mitrione was just on the MMA Hour talking about how he'd fight anyone at anytime. Now he backs out of a fight with a fighter who would easily move him up on the heavy weight ladder. I don't always agree with Dana, but if your gonna go online and talk the talk then why would you be surprised if Dana got pissed cause you didn't walk the walk.
amsterdamheavy- September 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm
Is that fight for the SF HW belt? I mean, if it isnt, then the fight, no matter who takes it, is fucking pointless. If it IS, then shit, a belt is a belt. Uberreem was happy to hold on to that bitch forever...
RSparrow- September 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm
And didn't he promise one of you that voicemail contest? Someone needs to rub their meat on his head and give him a nickname with relevance.
RSparrow- September 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm
Meathead gets on the MMA hour with Helwani all the time. He made a big deal about Jones turnin down his fight, an acted like he would fucking fight anyone, any time. Put your mother fucking money where your mouth is. Don't act like a a complete hard ass then pull this shit. God damnit. Fuck you.
NinjaVanish- September 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm
I wouldn't have taken the fight either. Its clearly a feeder fight for Cormier if they are looking at Meathead at this point. Losing to Cormier could be a fast ticket to being stuck in dimension strikeforce.
dranokills- September 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm
Matt knows hes a curtain puller, and he will never be any higher. I don't blame him for knowing he wasn't as talented as a strikeforce fighter, he saved himself another beating. now everyone just let him train for his cupcake match.
smellypiratehooker- September 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm
That fuckin' Matt Mitrione, play'in safe motherfucker. Won't take a fight against's insane. This guy should be speaking to a fuckin' psychiatrist. fuckin' sport-killing motherfucker. Greg Jackson? Can't talk about it.
Onan- September 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm
I'm all for fighters making good career decisions. But maybe Matt should stop barking so much about wanting to fight guys outside of his division (Jones & Rampage) if he's going to turn down fights in his own division.
Mr_Misanthropy- September 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm
@ Alice Coopeda

I saw this on MMA Junkie yesterday and that is exactly what I thought. It sounded lke a lose/ lose/ lose/ lose situation for Meathead.

Dana might want to start talking to Diaz's doctors, the stress and anxiety of The Great Injury Curse of 2012 are turning him into a basket case.