Matt Mitrione (Pictured) is no Frank Mir. Not only because Mitrione has never donned a UFC belt, but unlike his heavyweight counterpart, he declined to face Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier in the final 265-pound scrap under Strikeforce’s watch.
“Yeah, [Mitrione] turned the fight down,” an irritated UFC president Dana White stated following Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 5 press conference. “It’s [expletive] insane. It makes no sense to me. I’m a little bummed out by it. We’ll figure it out.
“Yeah, (he’s already slated to face Phil De Fries at UFC 155). He said, ‘I’ll just take that one.'”
Mir was forced to bow out of the November 3rd matchup with an injury, which left Zuffa scrambling for a suitable replacement. Mitrione will end his 14-month hiatus on New Year’s Eve weekend, so perhaps the earlier start date played a role in his decision to decline.
However, following a recent spat with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson ignited on “The MMA Hour,” Mitrione openly took the ‘anytime, anywhere, anyplace’ mentality against the former UFC light heavyweight champ. Why fighting a smaller Rampage interests Mitrione and Cormier doesn’t has White even more baffled.
“It [expletive] makes me sick,” White emphatically added. “Listen, you don’t want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it, then. All I can say is, I guess he doesn’t want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted.
“He wants to fight a guy that weighs 205, but doesn’t want to fight the guy who’s the real heavyweight, the legitimate guy who’s ranked. And Mitrione isn’t getting any younger.”
As for Cormier, White said the impending Octagon star will face anyone prior to transitioning to the big leagues.
“Cormier will fight anybody,” White boasted. “The guys who are the real guys fight anybody, man. They’ll fight anybody.”
If Strikeforce is accepting applications, Roy Nelson has offered up his services. “Big Country” is slotted to meet Shane Carwin after they finish serving as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 16,” but a recent knee injury has the rumor mill believing Carwin’s status may be in jeopardy.