Matt Mitrione

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.[3][4] He was a featured fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.[5] 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.[6]

Matt Mitrione
Mitrione in September 2011
Matthew Steven Mitrione

(1978-07-15) July 15, 1978
Springfield, Illinois, United States
Other namesMeathead
Height6 ft 3 in (192 cm)
Weight255 lb (116 kg; 18 st 3 lb)
Reach79 in (201 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofBoca Raton, Florida, United States
TeamCombat Club (Current)
Blackzilians (Formerly)
Roufusport (Formerly)
Imperial Athletics (Formerly)
Integrated Fighting Academy (Formerly)
TrainerHenri Hooft
Duke Roufus
RankBlack belt in Shotokan Karate[2]
Years active2009–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By decision2
By knockout3
By submission2
By decision2
No contests1
Mixed martial arts exhibition record
By decision1
By submission1
Other information
UniversityPurdue University
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Football career
No. 91, 98
Position:Defensive tackle
Career information
High school:Springfield (IL) Sacred Heart-Griffin
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:4
Solo tackles:2
Assisted tackles:2
Player stats at


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.[7]

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[8][9], 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.[10][11][12]

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 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.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Mitrione made his professional MMA debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale defeating Marcus Jones via KO early in the second round.

Mitrione then faced another fellow Ultimate Fighter alumnus Kimbo Slice at UFC 113 in Montreal.[13] 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 faced Joey Beltran on September 25, 2010 at UFC 119.[14] He won the fight via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, and 29–28) and also won the "Fight of the Night" award.

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.[15]

Mitrione fought Christian Morecraft on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4.[16] 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.[17] 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 Rob Broughton on August 4, 2012 at UFC on FOX 4.[18] However, the bout was scrapped after Broughton pulled out for an undisclosed personal matter.[19]

Mitrione/Broughton was briefly linked to UFC on FX 5[20] but was eventually scrapped altogether.

Mitrione was expected to face Phil De Fries on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155.[21] 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.[22] He lost the fight via TKO in the first round.

Mitrione vs. De Fries eventually took place on April 6, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 9.[23] Mitrione won the fight via knockout just 19 seconds into 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.[24] 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.[25]

Mitrione was expected to face Brendan Schaub on July 27, 2013 at UFC on Fox 8.[25] However, in mid-July, Mitrione pulled out of the bout citing an injury and Schaub was pulled from the event as well.[26] The bout eventually took place on September 21, 2013 at UFC 165.[27] 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.[28] He won via knockout at 4:59 of the first round. The win also earned Mitrione his first "Performance of the Night" bonus award.[29]

Mitrione was scheduled to face Stefan Struve on July 5, 2014 at UFC 175,[30][31] but Struve collapsed in the locker room before the fight, leading to a cancellation.[32]

Mitrione faced Derrick Lewis on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50.[33] Mitrione quickly defeated Lewis via first-round knockout.[34]

Mitrione faced Gabriel Gonzaga on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13.[35] He won the fight via TKO in the first round. The win also earned Mitrione a Performance of the Night bonus award.

Mitrione faced Ben Rothwell on June 6, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68.[36] He lost the fight by submission in the first round.[37]

Mitrione faced Travis Browne on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81.[38] 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.[39] This was the last fight on Mitrione's contract and he opted to test the free agency market.

Bellator MMA

On March 14, 2016, Mitrione announced he had signed with Bellator MMA.[40]

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.

Embracing a quick return to the Bellator cage, Mitrione faced Oli Thompson three weeks later on July 16, 2016 at Bellator 158. He won the back-and-forth fight via TKO in the second 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.[41] The match was rescheduled and took place at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017.[42] Mitrione won the fight via knockout in the first round.[43]

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.[44]

Mitrione faced Ryan Bader in the semi-finals at Bellator 207 on October 12, 2018.[45] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[46]

Mitrione returned to face Sergei Kharitonov in the main event at Bellator 215 on February 15, 2019.[47] 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.

Personal life

Mitrione is of Irish[48] (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.[49] He is also close friends with former NFL tight end Jeremy Shockey, who was his teammate while playing for the New York Giants.[50] 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.[51] He had a role in the 2015 movie "Street" starring Beau "Casper" Smart.[52][53] Matt is a big fan of greys anatomy for which he is sometimes teased by his friends but he seems not mind.

Charity work

Mitrione has participated in an anti-bullying program with UFC fighters Sean Pierson, Mark Hominick, and Sam Stout in Toronto, Canada.[54]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
21 matches 13 wins 7 losses
By knockout 11 3
By submission 0 2
By decision 2 2
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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 (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale December 5, 2009 2 0:10 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Mixed martial arts exhibition record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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.


See also


  1. "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Boetsch vs. Henderson". Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  2. Drahota, Michael (September 18, 2013). "UFC 165 fight card: Brendan Schaub vs Matt Mitrione fight preview".
  3. "Matt Mitrione, DT at". 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2011-10-28.
  4. NYG (1978-07-15). "Matt Mitrione Stats - ESPN". Retrieved 2011-10-28.
  5. "Quartet of NFL vets to join Kimbo Slice on UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast". 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  6. Big John Breakdown | Matt Mitrione - #Bellator225, retrieved 2019-08-13
  7. "New York Giants 2002 NFL Draft Review and Rookie Free Agent Signings - Big Blue Interactive". August 20, 2002.
  8. "DT Matt Mitrione: Vikings Add Defensive Tackle".
  9. "Throwback To When Matt Mitrione Played For NFL's Minnesota Vikings - MMA Imports".
  13. "Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrone Official for UFC 113 on May 8 in Montreal". Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  14. "UFC 119 targeted for Sept. 25 in Indianapolis, Mitrione vs. Beltran on tap". Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  15. Marrocco, Steven (2011-01-24). "UFC Fight Night 23 medical suspensions: Mitrione and Freire out indefinitely". Retrieved 2011-10-28.
  16. "Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft added to UFC on Versus 4". April 11, 2011. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011.
  17. "Matt Mitrione vs. Cheick Kongo Collide at UFC 137". July 14, 2011.
  18. "UK UFC News - Heavyweight Bouts Announced At UFC On Fox 4". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  19. "Rob Broughton vs. Matt Mitrione scratched from UFC on FOX 4". Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  20. "Broughton vs. Mitrione Moved To UFC On FX 5". Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  21. "Matt Mitrione vs. Phil DeFries Added to UFC 155". August 31, 2012.
  22. "Matt Mitrione Steps In For Injured Shane Carwin Against Roy Nelson At 'TUF 16' Finale". November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  23. "UFC on FUEL TV 9 adds Mitrione-De Fries". mmajunkie.comdate=February 9, 2013. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013.
  24. Noble, McKinley (April 8, 2013). "UFC: Matt Mitrione Suspended for Fallon Fox Rant, 'Code of Conduct' Breach". Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  25. "Matt Mitrione no longer suspended, meets Brendan Schaub at UFC on FOX 8". April 24, 2013. Archived from the original on April 26, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  26. Helwani, Ariel (2013-07-10). "Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub off UFC on FOX 8 card". Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  27. Helwani, Ariel (2013-07-20). "Brendan Schaub vs. Matt Mitrione moved to UFC 165 in Toronto". Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  28. Staff (January 4, 2014). "Shawn Jordan vs. Matt Mitrione confirmed for TUF China Finale". Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  29. Staff (2014-03-01). "TUF China Finale bonuses: Kim and Mitrione pick up 'Performance' awards". Retrieved 2014-03-01.
  30. Staff (2014-05-08). "After heart problems, Stefan Struve returns, meets Matt Mitrione at UFC 175". Retrieved 2014-05-08.
  31. Cole, Ross (8 May 2014). "Stefan Struve Returns To Fight Matt Mitrione At UFC 175". Fight of the Night. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  32. Stefan Struve out of UFC 175 vs. Matt Mitrione after pre-fight fainting scare
  33. Doyle, Dave (July 9, 2014). "Slugger showdown: Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis set for UFC Fight Night 50". Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  34. Morgan, John (September 5, 2014). "UFC Fight Night 50 results: Matt Mitrione makes quick work of Derrick Lewis". Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  35. Raimondi, Marc (2014-09-19). "Heavyweights Matt Mitrione, Gabriel Gonzaga to meet on FOX card in Phoenix". Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  36. Ngo, Tom (2015-02-27). "Mitrione vs. Rothwell, Henderson vs. Boetsch added to UFC Fight Night 68". Retrieved 2015-02-27.
  37. Burke, Tim (2015-06-07). "UFC Fight Night 68 results: Ben Rothwell chokes out Matt Mitrione early". Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  38. Raimondi, Marc (2015-09-30). "Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione added to UFC Fight Night 81". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  39. Brookhouse, Bren (2016-01-17). "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Travis Browne stops Matt Mitrione with third round TKO". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  40. MMA Junkie Staff (2016-03-14). "Bellator inks veteran UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione". Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  41. Staff (2017-02-18). "Bellator 172 main event between Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione scratched". Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  42. "Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva". 2017-06-24.
  43. Okamoto, Brett (June 24, 2017). "Matt Mitrione knocks out Fedor Emelianenko in wild first round". Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  44. "Matt Mitrione Defeats Roy Nelson at Bellator 194, Advances in World Heavyweight Grand Prix".
  45. "Ryan Bader vs. Matt Mitrione Kicks Off Bellator Heavyweight Semifinals in October". July 10, 2018.
  46. "Bellator 207 results: Ryan Bader mauls Matt Mitrione, advances to grand prix finals". MMAjunkie. 2018-10-13. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  47. "Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov headliner set for Bellator's back-to-back weekend on Feb. 15". 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  48. "I'm half Irish too" -
  49. "Mitrione applies NFL lessons to his MMA career". Yahoo! Sports. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  50. "Player Bio: Matt Mitrione". 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  51. "DT Kirbys crowns 4th annual chicken wing contest champion". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  52. Colby, Amanda (2016-11-07). "The Hit Movie "Street"Now on Netflix in 241 Countries!". Medium. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  53. "Beau "Casper" Smart Lands First Starring Role in MMA Action Movie Street". PRUnderground. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  54. Hauch, Valerie (2011-12-06). "What did UFC fighters have to say about bullying?". The Star. Toronto.
  55. "Matt". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
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