Matt Mitrione slams Bellator
Matt Mitrione claims that his fight with Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator really kicked off his financial life and while he was full of praise for Emelianenko, the same couldn’t be said for Bellator.
While speaking to Ariel Helwani, Mitrione claimed that he only has himself to thank for his positive financial situation.
“I don’t have many good feelings towards them at all. I made my financial life, I had leverage because I did what I had to do.”
While that might seem confusing, as Bellator hosted that fight, Mitrione used the example of the heavyweight tournament, that he dubbed a joke, to prove his position.
“I think the heavyweight tournament was a joke. It wasn’t a heavyweight tournament, it was a super fight tournament. It was our biggest eight names that we have. That’s what I thought it, I told them it was stupid, I don’t want to do it.
“I just knocked out Fedor in 71 seconds in Madison Square Garden. I’m 3-0 with three knockouts. Now you want me to take three steps backwards and fight, arguably, one of the most durable heavyweights in the game, Roy Nelson, to be first.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 24, 2021
Further gripes with the tournament
Mitrione also took particular issue with the likes of Chael Sonnen, Ryan Bader and King Mo being invited to the tournament as they were light heavyweight wrestlers to him that didn’t embody what the heavyweight division was for.
“On top of that, why are you inviting Chael, who’s a wrestler, Bader, who’s a wrestler, Mo, who’s a wrestler? Why are you inviting three light-heavyweight wrestlers who are all extremely accomplished against heavyweights? That didn’t make sense to me.
“There’s a completely different skillset at heavyweight at that time. So I held out. I was like, ‘No I’m not going to do it, it’s stupid. Put me on the shelf or I’ll fight Cheick Congo for the title that nobody really has and then, once I beat Congo, then I’ll fight whoever wins the “heavyweight” tournament.
Mitrione claims that his lack of interest in the event is the only reason he made good money from it. By offering up an ultimatum he claims that his positive financial situation became his own doing.
“I’ll do that. That’s no problem at all. They didn’t like that idea either so I held out until they paid me more and that was leverage. That’s what I needed.”
— Nick Breezus 🅴 (@NickBrownHD) June 25, 2017