While lots of us are hoping a James Toney-Kimbo Slice fight is made for Ultimate Fight Night 22, there's one guy who's rooting against it. Matt Mitrione, one of Kimbo's castmates from season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter," was tentatively booked to face him on May 8. Mitrione is a no-name compared to boxing's Toney, so he knows the fight could very much be in jeopardy.
"I have no clue what's going on; the last 15 hours have been pretty crazy," Mitrione told the Las Vegas Sun. "To be truly honest, I haven't heard a thing from the UFC, and it's frustrating me. It's my understanding that it took awhile to get his paperwork signed, but I'm sure it's signed."
Mitrione also knows with the UFC, it's a one way street. The promotion holds all the cards.
"Then again, that doesn't mean (expletive). When I was in the NFL I signed a contract, they signed a contract, and they can cut you whenever they want. I know that from first-hand experience."
Frankly, if you're a fan, the way the UFC does things is probably best but it does stink for the fighters sometimes. At the end of the week, Mitrione said he was told by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva he's fighting on May 8. So he's in limbo now.
UPDATE: UFC.com posted an update that the Kimbo-Mitrione fight is staying on UFC 113.
What Mitrione does have going for him is that he maximized his time on TUF 10. He's made himself a promotable heavyweight. Justin Wren may have more potential, but he's fighting in the minors right now because his personality never got showcased. Mitrione's did. Rashad Evans dubbed him meathead and he was storyline each week at the backend of the season. He said it's exactly what the show's producers wanted to cultivate.ore}
"They want you to give exciting answers. So they sit you down and ask you, 'Why do you fight?' And you say, 'Dude, I've been fighting for six months. I fight because it's new and exciting.' Then they give you this look like, 'C'mon. Really?' So you say, 'OK. I fight because I hear voices and it's the only time I can be peaceful in my mind.' That's totally nuts and insane. But they take out the part where you laugh after and you say, 'Man, I'm sorry. I totally made that up.' "
Mitrione is a heel. Unlike many previous cast members, he doesn't mind. He gets it. And with little time before a proposed April 17 card in Nashville, Mitrione-Kimbo may be the best option for a big fight to highlight the show. It'll work for putting Mitrione right back on free television.
- Matt Mitrione