September 27, 2010
Matt Mitrione has a gift. The former NFL player is an excellent athlete and possesses solid hands, but his fighting skills are the least of his strengths. The fighter dubbed "Meathead" by Rashad Evans on Season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter" has a way of attracting attention by irking folks with his chops and behavior.
He's only got three fights, but the way he's carried himself has led to a fight with legendary streetfighter Kimbo Slice and then big exposure again this weekend on Spike TV. After beating up Joey Beltran at UFC 119, he added another footnote to his growing story. Mitrione closed out the postfight interview with UFC analyst Joe Rogan by telling someone they were fired.
It turns out Mitrione dumped his agent Malki Kawa. Mitrione went on to explain that it wasn't a joke. Why did he fire his agent? Mitrione claimed Kawa let him down at UFC 119.
"He did the worst job ever when it came to sponsorships," Mitrione told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. "For a televised fight, he got me $5,000. That is highly unacceptable."
Mitrione sounded disappointed about the attention he got before the fight.
"We were asking him who did you get? Who do I need to get on my shorts," said Mitrione. "The answers I get are 'your wife's bothering me about stuff that's not her business.' Really? My wife? It's not her business about my money. That's a trip. He was out of line in a lot of ways. I think it's really appropriate for me to fire you on national television."
Where was Kawa? The MMA agent (pictured on the right) was in Las Vegas this weekend with Jon Jones (left), another one of his clients.
Right or wrong, Kawa chose to hang with the guy many think is the No. 1 prospect and rising star in mixed martial arts. Jones was in Sin City for the Mr. Olympia competition and expo. The duo also spent time hanging out with the likes of "Jersey Shore" star Jenni "JWoww" Farley at The Bank, a Vegas nightclub.
Kawa responded to the firing on Twitter by saying there was a lot more to the story and that he never disrespected Mitrione's wife.
Update: Kawa further responded to the firing on "the MMA Hour" on FanHouse's MMA Fighting.
"I'm not upset with him. I'm just upset with the fact that he didn't give me a chance to explain to him some of the process that has happened and why his numbers weren't $10,000-$15,000."
Kawa explained there were too many people around Mitrione calling potential sponsors on his behalf. There was also a misunderstanding of where money from TapouT and Hitman clothing was coming from.
Kawa added that he didn't disrespect Mitrione's wife.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for his wife, for his entire family. Just as a person, I don't disrespect anyone's family," said Kawa.
Kawa says this story and others are cheating Mitrione from his moment and what the true focus should be.
"I feel bad for him," said Kawa. "This case has taken over the good job he did at the fights. This has gotten crazy."
Kawa's reputation is pretty solid. There haven't been any complaints from his other clients like Kenny Florian, Carlos Condit, Ben Henderson, Matthew Riddle and Thiago Alves.
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