Matt Mitrione didn’t want to take a short-notice fight with Daniel Cormier when he was offered earlier this year. However, the opportunity to test his skills vs. Roy Nelson was a chance “Meathead” couldn’t pass up.
The two will compete in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on December 15 from Las Vegas. Mitrione replaces Shane Carwin, who suffered a knee injury in training.
Mitrione’s decision to say yes to Nelson and the UFC had nothing to do with “pleasing” his bosses. Instead, he felt it was a wise career choice, the former Ultimate Fighter competitor told MMAFighting.com.
“It’s good to be a company guy, but in the same breath, it’s also not intelligent to do career-suicide,” Mitrione said. “This is a fight I think is winnable for me and that’s (the) reason I threw my name in the hat.”
One of Mitrione’s reasons for turning down the Cormier fight was because he felt his wrestling was not on par with the former Olympians. Mitrione and Nelson were teammates on The Ultimate Fighter.
“I think this is a fight, like I said, where I could easily be in this situation if I didn’t lose a decision (to Cheick Kongo),” Mitrione said. “I could be there. So it is what it is. I definitely didn’t take the fight to get in good graces or to change the wave of negative attention towards me.”