Let the talk begin. Who knows what we get from Kimbo Slice this week. The "EliteXC/made up Kimbo" was forced to be a snarling trash talker. The real Kimbo has been less than willing to talk a lot of trash during his short stint in the UFC. So that leaves us with his opponent, Matt Mitrione, to drive the train at UFC 113.
He kicked things off Monday night during an appearance with Larry Pepe on Pro MMA Radio. Mitrione pointed out that the first thing to overcome in a Kimbo fight is the man's prefight aura (1:10:00 mark - NSFW).
"What was that on Alexander's part? Houston Alexander lost that a month an a half before they ever fought. He let the hype of Kimbo freak him out," Mitrione said speaking about Alexander running for much of his fight against Kimbo back in December.
Mitrione, a former defensive tackle at Purdue and a former NFL veteran with the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, turned to one of his professional athlete buddies for some advice on dealing with mind games before the fight.
"Jayson Werth, you know the guy who got me into MMA, is a good friend of mine," said Mitrione, talking about a conversation with the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder. "And I was talking to him the other night. [He said] 'Look dude, what we always say when we go against a pitcher that's just the hype pitcher at the moment, hit the ball, not the hype.' He's like 'Hit the man, not the hype. You don't fight his reputation, you fight him.'"
Mitrione is ready to take on Kimbo where he's best known.
"I feel very comfortable on my feet banging whether it's in the hole or making space," said Mitrione. "Whatever the hell this thing goes. If we start fighting in the crowd, I feel very comfortable with all that. I'm very confident that my reach, that my hands, that my chin and my athleticism are going to give him trouble. I could be wrong. He could just come in and kick the [expletive] out of me and knock me out with his first punch, but I don't think that's going to happen."
Mitrione, who is a slight underdog at minus-115, made what sounded pretty close to a guarantee.
"I hope everyone that loves Kimbo Slice puts every ounce of rent money on it. Because I want everyone that bets on me to pay their mortage for two or three months off of this fight."
Mitrione and Kimbo were castmates on the Season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter" along with the eventual champ Roy Nelson. Nelson has said repeatedly that Mitrione's hands are some of the fastest he's ever seen on a heavyweight. That said, he also pointed out that the big guy's ground game is terrible and thinks Kimbo will surprise people by playing to that advantage and winning the fight.