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Can Mitrione continue his rise in the UFC?

| October 22, 2011 | Reply

When one thinks about Matt Mitrione, several things could pop into their head. From his days playing football at Purdue, to his heated arguments with Rashad Evans on The Ultimate Fighter to his outgoing and humorous personality, one thing is for certain, Mitrione has certainly entertained fans both in and out of the cage.

For the former Purdue and NFL football player, Mitrione has had some buzz around him since making his official UFC debut after The Ultimate Fighter Season 10. Having never had a professional fight prior to the show, Mitrione has rattled off five straight wins to start his career and will face the toughest test of his young career when he takes on the dangerous Cheick Kongo at UFC 137.

From his first fight in the Octagon to his last when he dominated Christian Morecraft at UFC Live: Kongo vs Barry, Mitrione has shown vast improvements in his overall game. Working with the legendary Duke Rufus out of Wisconsin, Mitrione has improved his striking game and shown solid improvements in his ground work as well.

While his biggest win could be considered Kimbo Slice when it comes to name recognition, his current opponent, Kongo, is easily his toughest test to date. What both fighters bring to the table is the ability to finish fights, having only gone to a decisions four times between them in 21 wins. They’ve also proven their toughness, with Kongo having only been finished twice in his career and Mitrione having yet to taste defeat.

The real question is, where does a win leave Mitrione? Why no one would call him the outright #1 contender for a title shot, it would move him that much closer to the top of the UFC Rankings. Kongo has only dropped fights to former Champion Frank Mir and current Champion Cain Velasquez in his last 8 fights. “Meathead” is in for a tough task on trying to take out Kongo, who has the experience advantage when it comes to fights in MMA, as well as his extensive kickboxing background, but Mitrione has defied the odds so far in his UFC career and a win next week, could catapult the 33-year-old up the rankings, leaving him only a few wins away from a date with the champion.

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Tags: Cheick Kongo, Heavyweight, Kimbo Slice, Matt Mitrione, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, UFC, UFC 137, Ultimate Fighter

Category: Exclusive, MMA, UFC

About the Author ()

I was born in New York, but currently reside in PA. Have been following the sport since about 2000, ever since I picked up a few VHS' of the old UFC tournaments. I served on active duty in the Marines and currently serve in the PA Army National Guard. I've been doing sub-wrestling and BJJ for about 2 years and have studied Aikido for 3 years. I enjoy all forms of combat sports, but huge into BJJ tournaments and of course, MMA.

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