matt-mitrione-20.jpgTORONTO – Few fighters are able to step into the UFC’s octagon and compete at the highest level of the sport with no prior professional experience, but that’s exactly what heavyweight Matt Mitrione has done.

Growing up in front of the UFC’s audience hasn’t been easy on Mitrione (6-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and as just one of two active fighters on the roster to have competed in all of his professional bouts inside the octagon, “Meathead” admits he’s felt the pressures involved with having to learn the sport against the highest level of opposition.

“It’s stressful,” Mitrione told MMAjunkie.com of growing up in the UFC. “That’s probably the most stress I get versus performance or whatever else is the fact that whatever I do is on the fly.”

Typically fighters must put together a strong MMA record against quality opponents in order to even be considered for a roster spot, but Mitrione was a special case.

The former NFL player was recruited as a cast member for “The Ultimate Fighter 10? in 2009, and despite a quick submission loss in the quarterfinal round was presented with the opportunity to make his official MMA debut in the UFC at the conclusion of the series.

Mitrione admits to having minimal knowledge of the sport when filming began for the show, which he claims is the reason for his early exit from the tournament.

“I was training, training from day one, for six months to the time I was on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ so I didn’t know s–t from anything,” Mitrione said. “I knew nothing at all. So by the time I go there and they’re like, ‘Oh you got submitted by James McSweeney.’ I didn’t know what the hell a guillotine was when I got caught in a guillotine.”

From a time when he didn’t even know the names of techniques commonly used in MMA, Mitrione has developed his skillset to the point where he is considered one of the heavyweight division’s most exciting fighters.

Even though he is older and still much less experienced than a majority of his fellow UFC heavyweights, Mitrione isn’t worried about whether or not time is on his side and knows if he continues to win fights, his chance of earning a world title are just as good as anyone else.

“It could be (a race against time), but I’m not worried about what I could accomplish,” Mitrione said. “My goals, my aspirations are to get a belt.”

With a UFC 165 main card bout against Brendan Schaub (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) just around the corner, Mitrione will get his opportunity to move another step closer to a title fight. And while some fighters in his situation would be eager to make the most of their time and attempt to rush up the rankings, Mitrione is happy with how he’s been developed by UFC matchmakers and will continue to take any fight that’s offered until the championship is around his waist.

“The UFC has me on a good pace,” Mitrione said. “They have me jump up when it’s time to jump up and they have me fall back when it’s time to fall back, and I’m good with that, it doesn’t matter. As long as I give 100 percent in any situation that I’m in, I’m cool with that.”

For more on UFC 165, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Two New Fights Added to Growing UFC 209 Fight Card | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 37 views

Two new bouts have been added to the UFC 209 pay-per-view fight card taking place on March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>

UFC middleweight 'Jacare' Souza's manager posts fake Craigslist ad for next fight

  • 18 days ago
  • 21 views

Apparently, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s manager feels like he can’t get through to the UFC middleweight division.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Amanda Nunes: 'USA Changed My Life' (UFC 207 video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 9 views

While UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes feels a strong national pride in her home country of Brazil, the United States changed her life. read news >>

Yair Rodriguez Looks to Become the UFC's First Superstar from Mexico

  • 10 days ago
  • 7 views

As a child growing up in Parral, Mexico, Yair Rodriguez watched MMA videos with his brother and cousin. They paid close attention to Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva and other legends who made the s read news >>

Ray Borg sick of fans' weight-cutting criticism, unveils path to UFC champ Demetrious Johnson

  • 18 days ago
  • 8 views

Ray Borg said he feels bad for missing weight ahead of this past weekend’s UFC 207 bout with Louis Smolka, but he doesn’t appear to be beating himself up too badly over it.Filed under: Featured Video read news >>

Miesha Tate Has Nose Surgery, and It 'Feels Terrible Right Now' | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 81 views

Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate underwent successful nose surgery on Wednesday to 'straighten that very curvy septum.' read news >>

Cat Zingano blasts 'disrespectful' UFC champ Amanda Nunes: 'I detest you being ungrateful'

  • 18 days ago
  • 512 views

Amanda Nunes may be one of the feel-good stories of 2016, but she’s officially made an enemy.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Why in the World Did Jessica Andrade Turn Down a UFC Title Fight? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 30 views

When almost everyone is clamoring for a title shot, why in the world did Jessica Andrade turn one down when the UFC offered? read news >>

Paul Craig says he's fighting Tyson Pedro at March's UFC 209 in Las Vegas

  • 18 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC’s March return to Las Vegas continues to build with the apparent addition of a light heavyweight fight.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

A rare street-fight story from UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture

  • 18 days ago
  • 425 views

Although he enjoyed a decorated career in MMA, former UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture wasn’t much of a fighter growing up.Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF read news >>