This Friday, Bellator will be finding out who the second fighter to advance to the next round of their heavyweight Grand Prix will be. It will either be Matt Mitrione or Roy Nelson walking away to face either ‘King Mo’ Muhammad Lawal or current Bellator light heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader in the semi finals.
This fight will be a rematch of for Mitrione and Nelson of their 2012 clash. Both men competed on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, but it wasn’t until the TUF 16 finale that they would finally meet after Nelson coached against former interim heavyweight champion, Shane Carwin. Carwin would suffer an injury and be forced out of the bout which gave Mitrione the opportunity to fill in. Unfortunately for Mitrione, things wouldn’t go his way as Nelson would defeat him by first-round TKO.
Mitrione spoke with MMAJunkie recently and said that this rematch is not about getting revenge:
“I have zero revenge factor going in. I’m a completely different fighter. I’ve been as active as I can be, and I’ve had no injuries. It’s just the fact that my ego wants to prove that I’m better than Roy, wants to prove that I’m the best heavyweight in the Bellator division, and one of the best in the world. I’m ready for that.
I prefer to stay busy. I don’t really like downtime very much, so I’m not really happy about it. But I have to worry about my opponent up front, and then I can worry about the second [round]. I think I should be the favorite, I think I’ve earned that. It’s up to somebody else to show me why I’m not. I feel great about it. I feel like I’m the most dangerous heavyweight in Bellator, that’s for damn sure. We’re going to see if I’m the most dangerous person in Bellator or not.”
Since joining Bellator after spending his entire career with the UFC, Mitrione has gone 3-0. As for the winner of TUF 10, Nelson, his last fight was his Bellator debut and he was able to get the win over Javy Ayala by unanimous decision.
Who do you have in this highly anticipated second fight of the heavyweight GP?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/13/2018.