Heavyweight Matt Mitrione has apparently turned down a fight with Daniel Cormier infor its November 3 event, which takes place at The Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Zuffa is searching for a replacement after Frank Mir suffered an injury, leaving Cormier without an opponent. Mitrione has opted to keep his original fight against Phil De Fries at UFC 155 on December 29, but would also opt for a grudge match against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“It’s (expletive) insane. It makes no sense to me. I’m a little bummed out by it,” said Dana White moments after the UFC Live on Fuel 5 event from Nottingham, England.
“Listen, you don’t want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it. All I can say is, I guess he doesn’t want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted.”
White also voiced his disapproval for the fight with Jackson, citing weight issues as well as Jackson’s injury.
“He wants to fight a guy who weighs 205, but doesn’t want to fight the guy who’s the real heavyweight, the legitimate guy who’s ranked. And Mitrione’s not getting any younger.”
Although Mitrione is 5-1 in his fairly young MMA career, the former New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle is 34 years old. Mitrione apparently has a legit beef with Jackson, which developed on last week’s episode of The MMA Hour, hosted by Ariel Helwani.
It is rumored that besides their legitimate on-air and off-air spats from The Ultimate Fighter 10 season, a member of Jackson’s entourage made a disrespectful comment toward Mitrione’s wife at a nightclub. The two had an altercation and the dust was about to settle, but Mitrione did not take the apology seriously and blames Jackson’s lack of seriousness toward the subject (this was mentioned by former UFC fighter Sean McCorkle on the UG message boards). Apart from this debacle that may or may not be true, there seems to be a mutual respect between the two, but after the segment on The MMA Hour it seems it has turned into a feud more than anything.
White also praised Cormier and fellow fighters who take fights without hesitation, against who ever comes their way.
Cormier will fight anybody,” White said. “The guys who are the real guys fight anybody, man. They’ll fight anybody.”
White’s comments about fighting anybody that comes their way are justifiable. There are certain fighters who may be looking for paydays and are past their glory years, therefore, it may be understandable if certain athletes do not want to take fights on short notice or rather not take them at all. However, does this go against the motives and ambitions of a fighter in the first place?
True fighters are not concerned with the glamorous life outside the cage of women, nice cars, and money. These fighters participate in this sport to become the best fighter in their division and face the absolute toughest competition for their challenges. Fighters are definitely allowed to turn down fights, but why is this a recurring event as of late?
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