For the first time in the history of ever, a fighter has admitted to declining a bout not because of the suddenly popular “short notice” excuse, but because the other opponent is simply better.
UFC president Dana White torched Matt Mitrione (Pictured) over the weekend for turning down a tango with Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce’s final heavyweight contest. However, White didn’t explain why Mitrione shunned the scrap during his tirade.
Now that the dust has somewhat settled, Mitrione admits flat out that he isn’t prepared to handle Cormier’s ground game and he didn’t want to get served up as a sacrificial lamb.
“I’m just not ready right now,” Mitrione revealed to BloodyElbow. “He has Olympic level wrestling, and although I have spent a great deal of time working on my wresting, I don’t feel it would be my best fight back after such a long layoff. UFC worked hard to get me a fight this year, but my old opponent had visa issues and it caused additional time out of the cage.
“Wrestling is, by far, my weakest skill. I’m working hard on my wrestling, but it would be a huge weakness against me in a short notice fight against Cormier.”
Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix champion owns an unblemished 10-0 record and has emerged much improved each time he’s taken center stage. Mitrione, meanwhile, is looking to rebound from the first loss of his professional career.
“Meathead” hasn’t been seen since dropping a convincing decision to Cheick Kongo last October.
Cormier was slated to face Frank Mir on November 3rd, but the former two-time UFC heavyweight champ was forced to bow out with an injury. Zuffa is currently scouring the globe to find a suitable substitute.