Matt Mitrione has become the latest fighter to see out his UFC contract and sign with promotional rivals Bellaotr, as announced today.
So in typical #WHOATV fashion we have come up with five fighters we would like to see welcome Mitrione to the Bellator cage;
Sergei Valerievich Kharitonov
Like Mitrione, Kharitonov has only recently signed with Bellator and I think this would be a great fight to welcome both of them to the Bellator roster. Kharitonov is the far more experience fighter and along with huge wins over Arlovski, Overeem & Werdum under his belt to name but a few is definitely a very tough opponent for any Heavyweight fighter in the world. The one thing that Mitrione does hold over Kharitonov is his activity in recent years, with Kharitonov only competing five times since in the last four years. Mitrione has stayed active during his UFC career and would certainly be a handful for Kharitonov if the pair were to meet.
Wren and Mitrione were team mates during The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 but never got to compete against each other, so now seven years down the line why not get the two to compete at Bellator? Wren has won his last five fights on the bounce, coming back from a five year lay off to rack up back to back wins at Bellator. He has been rallying for a fight against Kimbo but with the recent news that Kimbo failed a pre fight drug test its likely that he will be out for a while so why not have Mitrione make his debut against his former TUF team mate.
Rewind back to UFC 137 and Kongo scored a unanimous decision win over Mitrione in a fight which must eat away at him to this day. Kongo edged out the win but it was a lacklustre performance from both men, and I suspect both men would be keen to put that fight behind them and what better way to do that than to put on another show. Kongo has been pretty hit and miss since joining Bellator and I think a fighter of Mitrione’s calibre would help to bring out the best in the Frenchman.
Sakai may be the lesser known fighter on this list but the Brazilian is a very credible opponent for Mitrione and would definitely play to the style of Mitrione and make for an entertaining fight in my eyes. Sakai is undefeated in his mixed martial arts career to date with nine wins and seven stoppages, but you could argue he hasn’t fought anyone of the calibre of Mitrione which is why I would be interested to see how he would hang with a former UFC Heavyweight. The bout would also allow Mitrione the chance to put a red mark on Sakai’s record and I would like to see this fight either next or certainly a few fights down the line for both men.
Lashley is one of the bigger “names” in the Bellator Heavyweight division and given his pro-wrestling and acting background certainly brings across a good following when he fights. Since joining Bellator, Lashley has won four fights on the bounce all by stoppage and whilst most people tune in expecting to see Lashley run through his opponents, Mitrione would certainly be a huge test for Lashley and arguably one of his toughest tests in his career. Mitrione is known for his smack talking and I think it may take some heat between the two to get this one signed but you could definitely rely on Mitrione to spark up some interest if Bellator want to see him in there with Lashley.