Former NFL football player and current Duke Roufus pupil Matt Mitrione has enjoyed quite a bit of success as a professional MMA fighter this year. A cast member on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Mitrione has gone 3-0 since graduating from the show into the UFC. Two of those bouts have come in 2010, a TKO win over Kimbo Slice and an impressive decision over Joey Beltran. Speaking with MMAWeekly.com, the 32-year old Duke Roufus pupil discussed the progress he has made since his days on TUF.
“I think from my time on TUF to now, I think I’ve done pretty well with things,” Mitrione said. “I haven’t lost in front of a million people, so that’s not too bad. I’ve found that I’m good at some things and have a whole lot of room to develop the things that I’m good at, and a lot more to develop the things I suck at.”
“Meathead” pointed to his grasping of the more fine technical aspects of MMA, most notably striking, as the areas in which he has improved the most.
“I’d say I’ve probably made the most improvement in muscle control,” assessed Mitrione. “You can’t always swing as hard as you want to; you sometimes have to gauge it. I’m at that point now that I understand when it’s time for the big shot and when to go for the finish, or when it’s time to pot-shot. I think that’s the craft I’ve developed the most.”
Mitrione will look to continue his evolution as a fighter when he takes on Tim Hague at the UFC Fight for the Troops show this January 22nd, an opportunity which he relishes for his own close ties to the armed forces.
“My whole family has been involved in the military in some form or fashion my whole life, so I’m honored to be part of it, and I can’t wait to show that we care about the troops and put on a damn good show for everyone.”
Mitrione will fight in the co-main event of the Fight for the Troops card, which is going down at Fort Hood outside of Killeen, Texas and will feature a main event between Melvin Guillard and Evan Dunham.