This weekend, in the main event of Bellator 194, former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione will return to the Bellator cage, where he will attempt to avenge a 2012 loss to Roy Nelson and advance to the second round of the promotion’s exciting Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Now firmly embedded as a member of the Bellator MMA heavyweight roster, Mitrione has a unique perspective when comparing Bellator to the UFC. He did just that on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, singing Bellator’s praises and simultaneously criticizing the UFC’s treatment of its fighters.
“[In Bellator] there is freedom and obviously the sponsorship dollars,” Mitrione said (h/t MMAMania). “So, I am happy, I mean I can always be happier [with sponsorship], but I am happy. It’s good business. It’s just nice, man. The UFC can not get out of its own way. I think it’s pretty evident in what they do, their consistent missteps. How they handle their guys, the media, like not giving the show money to that cat who made weight. Stuff like that, little tiny things that are just another notch against. I feel like they are, not in a colossal nose dive, but I do not think they are in the right spot. I feel like what Mr. [Scott] Coker does very casually is what he needs to do to bring fans, eyes over to Bellator. And I think the production is completely different over at Bellator. It’s a spectacle, he took a page out of old Japanese MMA and made it bananas.”
If Matt Mitrione gets past his former foil Roy Nelson this weekend, he’ll next meet the winner of Ryan Bader and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal’s May showdown later this year. On the other side of the tournament bracket, Chael Sonnen will collide with the winner of Frank Mir and Fedor Emelianenko’s upcoming showdown.
What do you think of these comments from Matt Mitrione?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/14/2018.