Highly-touted heavyweight prospect Matt Mitrione was met with defeat for the first time in his professional career tonight, losing the zero on his record thanks to seasoned competitor Cheick Kongo.
It was far from a blowout, as the fight was very evenly contested over the first two frames. Light on his feet and looking comfortable, Mitrione played the aggressor, putting Kongo on his heels and making him counter. Both men landed with about the same frequency, but Kongo arguably did more by virtue of his powerful kicks. The bout was contested at an even, measured pace for its entirety, with both men finding their moments of success here and there.
Until the third round, the bout was fought entirely on the feet and remained fairly even. In the last frame though, Kongo put Mitrione on the mat frequently, riding top position and scoring about as much offense there as he did on the feet. In the end, Kongo did enough to warrant a unanimous decision verdict from the judges, but hardly impressed in victory. However, he does make it two in a row, improving his record to 17-6-2.
A veteran of only six fights, Mitrione showed that he still has promise as a future contender, but that he still needs time to grow into an all-around MMA fighter. He falls to 5-1 and back into the pack at heavyweight.