Mitrione in September 2011
Matthew Steven Mitrione
July 15, 1978
Springfield, Illinois, United States
|Height||6 ft 3 in (192 cm)|
|Weight||255 lb (116 kg; 18 st 3 lb)|
|Reach||79 in (201 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Boca Raton, Florida, United States|
|Team||Combat Club (Current)|
Imperial Athletics (Formerly)
Integrated Fighting Academy (Formerly)
|Rank||Black belt in Shotokan Karate|
|Years active||2009-present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts exhibition record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
|No. 91, 98|
|High school:||Springfield (IL) Sacred Heart-Griffin|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
Matthew Steven Mitrione (born July 15, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist and former American football player, who fights in Bellator MMA. He played college football at Purdue University and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings. He was a featured fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. Mitrione holds notable victories over Fedor Emelianenko, Roy Nelson, Derrick Lewis, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Kimbo Slice, and is known to knock out opponents with his right hand from a southpaw stance, despite being otherwise left-handed outside the ring.
Mitrione was born in Bloomington, Illinois and raised in Springfield, where he attended Sacred Heart-Griffin High School for first four years, where he competed in football, swimming and diving, and track and field. He graduated from Springfield Southeast High School. In football, he received Honorable Mention USA Today All-American & All-State honors in his senior year playing defensive line. He also trained in Shotokan Karate as a child to help deal with his extreme hyperactivity.
Mitrione competed in Toughman Contests while he was still in high school, and finished second in his initial Toughman Contest in his hometown of Springfield. He attended Purdue University on a football scholarship and started 35 consecutive games for the Boilermakers at defensive tackle, but broke his right foot during winter conditioning practice in his senior year. Mitrione went undrafted during the 2002 NFL Draft, but was offered a contract by the New York Giants.
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.
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 decision (19-19, 20-18, and 20-18), 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.
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, and 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 transgender 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 faced Travis Browne on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81. He lost the fight via TKO in the third round, though the bout was mired in controversy, as Mitrione suffered two eye pokes from Browne throughout the fight. This was the last fight on Mitrione's contract and he opted to test the free agency market.
Mitrione made his promotional debut against Carl Seumanutafa at Bellator 157 on June 14, 2016. After being dropped by an overhand right by Seumanutafa, Mitrione recovered on the ground and eventually won the fight via knockout in the first round.
Mitrione was scheduled to take on Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator's February 18, 2017 show in San Jose, California. However hours before the fight Mitrione was forced out of the bout due to kidney stones. The match was rescheduled and took place at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017. Mitrione won the fight via knockout in the first round.
On February 16, 2018, Mitrione had a rematch with Roy Nelson at Bellator 194 in the quarterfinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. Mitrione went on to win the fight by way of majority decision, avenging his prior loss to Nelson in the process.
Mitrione returned to face Sergei Kharitonov in the main event at Bellator 215 on February 15, 2019. The bout ended in a No Contest fifteen seconds into the first round after Mitrione landed an accidental groin strike leaving Kharitonov unable to continue.
Mitrione faced Kharitonov in an immediate rematch six months later at Bellator 225 on August 24, 2019. He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.
Mitrione stepped in to replace Josh Barnett, who failed his medical tests, to face Ronny Markes at Bellator 241 on March 13, 2020. However, the whole event was eventually cancelled due to the prevailing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.
Mitrione is of Irish (mother, Cecelia) and Italian (father, Robert) descent. He and his ex-wife Tina have two sons and one daughter. They divorced amicably in December 2014 after 9 years of marriage. He is friends with Drew Brees, as the two were teammates at Purdue University from 1997-2001 and members of Joe Tiller's first recruiting class. He is also close friends with former NFL tight end Jeremy Shockey, who was his teammate while playing for the New York Giants. He has casually competed in several eating competitions but lost in all of them; the most recent was D.T. Kirby's 4th annual Wing Eating Contest. He had a role in the 2015 movie "Street" starring Beau "Casper" Smart. Matt is a big fan of greys anatomy for which he is sometimes teased by his friends but he seems not mind.
|Professional record breakdown|
|21 matches||13 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||13-7 (1)||Sergei Kharitonov||TKO (knee and punches)||Bellator 225||August 24, 2019||2||1:24||Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States|
|NC||13-6 (1)||Sergei Kharitonov||NC (accidental groin strike)||Bellator 215||February 15, 2019||1||0:15||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Loss||13-6||Ryan Bader||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 207||October 12, 2018||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Semifinal.|
|Win||13-5||Roy Nelson||Decision (majority)||Bellator 194||February 16, 2018||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix Quarterfinal.|
|Win||12-5||Fedor Emelianenko||KO (punches)||Bellator NYC||June 24, 2017||1||1:14||New York City, New York, United States|
|Win||11-5||Oli Thompson||TKO (punches)||Bellator 158||July 16, 2016||2||4:21||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||10-5||Carl Seumanutafa||KO (punch)||Bellator 157: Dynamite 2||June 24, 2016||1||3:22||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Loss||9-5||Travis Browne||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz||January 17, 2016||3||4:09||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||9-4||Ben Rothwell||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson||June 6, 2015||1||1:54||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|Win||9-3||Gabriel Gonzaga||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic||December 13, 2014||1||1:59||Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||8-3||Derrick Lewis||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi||September 5, 2014||1||0:41||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States|
|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||Philip 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: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson 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 (punch)||The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale||December 5, 2009||2||0:10||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|2 matches||1 win||1 loss|
|Loss||1-1||James McSweeney||Submission (guillotine choke)||The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights||1||3:38||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Quarter-finals.|
|Win||1-0||Scott Junk||Decision (majority)||The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights||2||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Preliminary bout.|