Matt Mitrione on Bellator’s eventual return from pandemic: ‘the world need sports in their life’

Win or lose, heavyweight Matt Mitrione has rarely failed to have an exciting performance since joining Bellator in 2016.

With the launch of “Bellator MMA: Recharged” on CBS Sports Network, Mitrione’s performances can be viewed by new and old fans alike, which he feels gives them a chance to view a fighter unlike others in the heavyweight division.

“I think anytime anyone sees me fight it’s going to be a great experience,” Mitrione told “I think I’m fun, I’m athletic, I’m mobile, I’m long, I’m a striker, and I think I’m a variable to the heavyweight division.

“I’m the anomaly; most people are kind of heavy-footed, plodding, and rock’em-sock’em robots; I think I bring an exciting kind of different perspective to MMA.”

While Mitrione sees merit in all his fights for Bellator, a couple do stand out for different reasons that he feels are worth watching.

“I would say Carl (Seumanutafa, at Bellator 157),” said Mitrione. “I got dropped, and then I had to come out of it, and ended up knocking him out. That was something that showed durability.

“Then I could say Oli Thompson (at Bellator 158) because we were scrapping, and just letting them fly until one of us go, but that was rock’em-sock’em, that wasn’t very athletic or mobile or strategic, it was just letting them go.”

With people in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, staying busy at home has become the order of the day for many fighters, and for Mitrione that means home improvement projects.

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“Before all this happened, I was in the midst of finishing an addition on my house,” Mitrione said. “I’m still not finished with it, so I’ve spent most of my time at my house working on it.

“I think anybody that knows me, whenever I get idle time, instead of me running off partying really hard or doing anything else crazy that I can find, I stay home and I start doing home improvement projects. It’s kept me very busy.”

As for when he’s able to fight again, it doesn’t matter if his first bout back is versus Ronny Markes to make up for their canceled Bellator 241 bout or anyone else, as Mitrione is up to squaring off against anyone.

“If Ronny wants to fight me, cool, let’s scrap; if it’s somebody else, cool; it doesn’t really matter,” said Mitrione. “I say yes when I answer the phone. I’m the anomaly, I believe in myself, so whoever it is I’m down for.

“I hope there’s a handful cards out there, and everybody stays healthy and there’s a bunch of great fights. I think the world needs it. I think the world need sports in their life. It’s a release and it’s an escape. I think the best thing that could be is for us to get out there and entertain the masses.”