Slimmed down Morecraft ready for Mitrione at UFC on Versus 4

Maggie Hendricks

PITTSBURGH -- A tiny Christian Morecraft will be in the cage to fight Matt Mitrione on Sunday night. Well, as tiny as you can get at 6-foot-6 and 265+ lbs.

At the UFC on Versus open workouts on Friday, a sleeker Morecraft answered questions about his slimmed-down frame.

"Right now, I'm over 265. I've been doing a lot of strength training. You know all the madness that goes into this. I used to be a 360-lb. man a few years ago. I'm just morphing into this. I'm feeling more powerful and more explosive and just amped."

Morecraft's known more for his ground game, but said that he has focused on his stand-up. That should come in handy against a hard hitter like Mitrione.

"Obviously, in this sport, we work on all different aspects of our game. I've really been working on my striking and counterstriking," Morecraft said. "I was dominating my first fight with Stefan Struve, and my stand-up wasn't as close to what it is now. I couldn't wait to work on that divot in my game. Can't wait to unleash it on Sunday."

In his UFC debut against Struve, Morecraft won the first round before getting knocked out in the second.

Morecraft wants a win to continue to move up in the UFC heavyweight division, continuing, as he put it, "The Live It Love It Tour," but he has a little more motivation to fight Mitrione, a fighter who is known to get under his opponents' skins.

"I've said a lot of stuff like I don't like Matt. Obviously, I respect him. Ever since I saw him on 'The Ultimate Fighter,' I just always wanted to fight him."

He doesn't take Mitrione's trash talk too seriously, though.

"That stuff's always fun. People love it, and it keeps us around. It's almost like adding in a little entertainment into the game."

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