Mitrione (13-5 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) took a majority decision from Nelson (22-15 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) in the Bellator 194 main event in Uncasville, Conn., and moved into the semifinals of the heavyweight grand prix tournament.
The presumption is that because Nelson had takedowns in all three rounds, and because he kept a dominant position on Mitrione in the second half of the final round, the fans thought he ought to be the winner. Instead, Mitrione got a pair of 29-28 scores – wins in the first two rounds – and a third judge scored it a 28-28 draw by giving Nelson a 10-8 third.
Mitrione will concede Nelson did some good things in the fight, though in the striking department Mitrione clearly won that portion of the game.
“It felt like my hands had magnets on them, and everything I threw went straight to his face,” Mitrione today told MMAjunkie Radio. “… He’s tough, and he walked through a lot of it. It hink I’d have knocked out anyone else in the world.”
But for anyone who takes issue with Mitrione winning the fight, or Nelson not getting a 10-8 from the other two judges in the third, Mitrione has an explantion. And it’s one he won’t even call an accusation, saying video replays of the fight will show what he’s talking about.
“A lot of people think that Roy won the second half of the third round, and a lot of people think that was a 10-8 round,” Mitrione said. “In that round, if you go back and watch that film, 1:45 left in the fight till about 50 seconds (left) or so, you can see when I get put in the crucifix, I have an escape.
“I take my heel and I pull his calf into me, and if I squeeze my knees, it ends up being a sweep and I end up on top. Well, I didn’t squeeze my knees the first time I tried it, so Roy escaped it. After he escaped it, he took his right foot and he dug his foot into the fence. He actually took his foot off the canvas and he used it as leverage to push off the fence and drive into me.”
There’s an old sports adage that says “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” And Mitrione believes Nelson flat out tried to cheat to win the fight. The leverage, he thinks, was what was letting Nelson get closer to a ground-and-pound finish in the third round while referee Dan Miragliotta was taking a close look.
And Mitrione said he told Miragliotta about the foot situation, and when he started to look, his attention was diverted to checking for damage to Mitrione to see if he needed to stop the fight.
Mitrione was friendly enough with Nelson in the buildup to the fight, but that may be out the window now.
“To me, that shows no integrity whatsoever,” Mitrione said. “You’re losing the fight and it comes down to (desperation) time where you have to do something to win, and you cheat to try to accomplish that, that’s bull(expletive). You’re a grandstanding-ass cat when you talk about how much integrity you have when you talk about not using steroids and everything else, but when it comes down to winning or losing a fight, you cheat in order to try to win, I have no respect for that whatsoever.
“So, sorry – I’m never going to be cool with you again on any level, and I’m glad I beat your ass.”
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