Matt Mitrione shows a Marine how to protect himself at Camp Atterbury Sept. 20, 2011
|Born||Matthew Steven Mitrione
July 15, 1978
Springfield, Illinois, United States
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||260 lb (118 kg; 18 st 8 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb)|
|Reach||82.0 in (208 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Boca Raton, Florida|
Integrated Fighting Academy (formerly)
|Rank||Black belt in Shotokan|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts exhibition record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|Date of birth:July 15, 1978|
|Place of birth: Springfield, IL|
|Undrafted in 2002|
|Debuted in 2002|
|Last played in 2005|
Career NFL statistics
Matthew Steven Mitrione (born July 15, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist and former NFL football player. of the Minnesota Vikings. He was a cast member of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
Mitrione was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, attending Sacred Heart-Griffin High School where he competed in football, swimming and diving, and track and field. In football, Mitrione was a two-time All-American at two different positions, defensive tackle and fullback, and also received All-State honors in his senior year. Mitrione also trained in Shotokan Karate, Kickboxing, and other combat sports as a teenager. Mitrione even competed in Toughman Contests while he was still in high school, and finished second in a tournament in his hometown of Springfield, during his sophomore year of college. Mitrione attended Purdue University on a football scholarship and started 35 consecutive games for the Boilermakers at defensive tackle, but broke his right foot during a practice in his senior year. Mitrione went undrafted for the NFL, but was offered a contract with the New York Giants in 2002. After again injuring his foot in a 2003 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Mitrione had seven surgeries to his foot including one that extended his achilles tendon, and was in crutches for 16 months. Mitrione was released by the Giants in 2004 and then had brief stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings, before being released by the Vikings six weeks into the 2005 season and a week before his first child was born. Mitrione soon turned to mixed martial arts after Jayson Werth, a professional baseball player for the Washington Nationals, and close friend of Mitrione, invited Mitrione to fight in his inaugural promotion. Mitrione then relocated with his family to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he began training with fighters Chris Lytle and Jake O'Brien.
Mixed martial arts career
The Ultimate Fighter
Mitrione appeared on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. On the show, he was given the unofficial nickname "Meathead" by his coach Rashad Evans. After being picked second to last by Evans, Mitrione fought and defeated Scott Junk via majority (19–19, 20–18 and 20–18) decision, moving him on to the quarter finals.
Following Mitrione's fight with Junk, Mitrione complained about migraines and dizziness, causing many of the cast members to feel that Mitrione may bow out of the competition to give Kimbo Slice a second opportunity. Mitrione did fight and was eliminated by teammate James McSweeney in the quarterfinals, losing via guillotine choke.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Mitrione then faced another fellow Ultimate Fighter alumnus Kimbo Slice at UFC 113 in Montreal. Mitrone chopped Slice down with leg kicks and eventually defeated Slice via TKO (punches) in the second round, taking his professional record to 2–0.
Mitrione defeated Tim Hague on January 22, 2011 at UFC Fight Night 23 via TKO in the first round. It was mentioned during the post-fight interview that Mitrione had broken his left hand and later confirmed that he had injured the second metacarpal in his left hand.
Mitrione fought Christian Morecraft on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4. Mitrione dominated the first round with his standup scoring two knockdowns. Mitrione ended the fight via KO at 4:28 of round 2.
Mitrione suffered his first professional MMA loss to Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–28, 29–28) on October 29, 2011 at UFC 137. Mitrione was unable to mount any consistent offense against Kongo on the feet as Kongo used his jab to keep Mitrione at bay, and in the third round Kongo secured a takedown and controlled Mitrione through the end of the fight.
Mitrione was expected to face Phil De Fries on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155. But Mitrione was pulled out of the bout to step in for injured Shane Carwin against Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale on December 15, 2012. He lost the fight via TKO in the first round.
On April 8, 2013 it was announced that Mitrione had his contract suspended by the UFC after making comments about male-to-female trangender fighter Fallon Fox during an interview on The MMA Hour. Mitrione called Fox a "lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak" who he hoped would never fight again, and referred to Fox by male pronouns. Mitrione also criticized the state of Florida for licensing Fox to fight. The suspension was lifted after two weeks when Mitrione's next fight against Brendan Schaub was announced.
Mitrione was expected to face Brendan Schaub on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8. However, in mid-July, Mitrione pulled out of the bout citing an injury and Schaub was pulled from the event as well. The bout eventually took place on September 21, 2013 at UFC 165. Schaub won the fight via first round submission, giving Mitrione the first submission loss of his professional MMA career.
Mitrione faced Shawn Jordan on March 1, 2014 at The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale. He won via knockout at 4:59 of the first round. The win also earned Mitrione his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Mitrione is Italian-American and has two sons and one daughter with his wife. Mitrione is close friends with Drew Brees, as the two were teammates at Purdue University from 1998-2001. Mitrione is also close friends with NFL tight end Jeremy Shockey, who were teammates while playing for the New York Giants.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|10 matches||7 wins||3 losses|
|Win||7–3||Shawn Jordan||KO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter China Finale: Kim vs. Hathaway||March 1, 2014||1||4:59||Macau, SAR, China||Performance of the Night|
|Loss||6–3||Brendan Schaub||Technical Submission (D'Arce choke)||UFC 165||September 21, 2013||1||4:06||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||6–2||Phil De Fries||KO (punches)||UFC on Fuel TV: Mousasi vs. Latifi||April 6, 2013||1||0:19||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Loss||5–2||Roy Nelson||TKO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale||December 15, 2012||1||2:58||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||5–1||Cheick Kongo||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 137||October 29, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||5–0||Christian Morecraft||KO (punches)||UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry||June 26, 2011||2||4:28||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||4–0||Tim Hague||TKO (punches)||UFC: Fight for the Troops 2||January 22, 2011||1||2:59||Fort Hood, Texas, United States|
|Win||3–0||Joey Beltran||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 119||September 25, 2010||3||5:00||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Win||2–0||Kimbo Slice||TKO (punches)||UFC 113||May 8, 2010||2||4:24||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Win||1–0||Marcus Jones||KO (punches)||The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale||December 5, 2009||2||0:10||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
- Sources differ on Mitrione's height.Pro-Football-Reference.com gives 6'2"; UFC and Sherdog give 6'3".
- "Matt Mitrione, DT at". Nfl.com. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- NYG (1978-07-15). "Matt Mitrione Stats - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "Quartet of NFL vets to join Kimbo Slice on UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast". mmajunkie.com. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- "Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrone Official for UFC 113 on May 8 in Montreal". mmafrenzy.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "UFC 119 targeted for Sept. 25 in Indianapolis, Mitrione vs. Beltran on tap". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
- Marrocco, Steven (2011-01-24). "UFC Fight Night 23 medical suspensions: Mitrione and Freire out indefinitely". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
- "Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft added to UFC on Versus 4". mmajunkie.com. April 11, 2011.
- "Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo Collide at UFC 137". 5thRound.com. July 14, 2011.
- "UK UFC News - Heavyweight Bouts Announced At UFC On Fox 4". YourMMA.tv. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Rob Broughton vs. Matt Mitrione scratched from UFC on FOX 4". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "Broughton vs. Mitrione Moved To UFC On FX 5". YourMMA.tv. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Matt Mitrione vs. Phil DeFries Added to UFC 155". mmajunkie.com. August 31, 2012.
- "Matt Mitrione Steps In For Injured Shane Carwin Against Roy Nelson At ‘TUF 16’ Finale". sherdog.com. November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "UFC on FUEL TV 9 adds Mitrione-De Fries". mmajunkie.comdate=February 9, 2013.
- McKinley Noble (April 8, 2013). "UFC: Matt Mitrione Suspended for Fallon Fox Rant, 'Code of Conduct' Breach". Retrieved May 12, 2013. "He's chromosomally a man. He had a gender change, not a sex change. He's still a man. He was a man for 31 years. Thirty-one years. That's a couple years younger than I am. He's a man. Six years of taking performance de-hancing drugs, you think is going to change all that? That's ridiculous."
- "Matt Mitrione no longer suspended, meets Brendan Schaub at UFC on FOX 8". MMAjunkie.com. April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Ariel Helwani (2013-07-10). "Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub off UFC on FOX 8 card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- Ariel Helwani (2013-07-20). "Brendan Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione moved to UFC 165 in Toronto". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- Staff (January 4, 2014). "Shawn Jordan vs. Matt Mitrione confirmed for TUF China Finale". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
- Staff (2014-03-01). "TUF China Finale bonuses: Kim and Mitrione pick up 'Performance' awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- Staff (2014-05-08). "After heart problems, Stefan Struve returns, meets Matt Mitrione at UFC 175". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- Cole, Ross (8 May 2014). "Stefan Struve Returns To Fight Matt Mitrione At UFC 175". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Stefan Struve out of UFC 175 vs. Matt Mitrione after pre-fight fainting scare
- Dave Doyle (July 9, 2014). "Slugger showdown: Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis set for UFC Fight Night 50". mmafighting.com. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- "Mitrione applies NFL lessons to his MMA career". Yahoo! Sports. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- "Player Bio: Matt Mitrione". purduesports.com. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Hauch, Valerie (2011-12-06). "What did UFC fighters have to say about bullying?". The Star (Toronto).
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