What was once a cordial relationship between former opponents Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione has transformed into one of the ugliest beefs in recent memory.
After first meeting in the UFC in 2012, Nelson and Mitrione faced off in a rematch back in February as part of the opening round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Mitrione ultimately edged out Nelson by majority decision but then in the aftermath he accused the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ winner of cheating during their fight.
That accusation then led Nelson to lash out at Mitrione by saying the former NFL player was just feeling guilty after cheating on his wife.
The nasty exchange seemed to quiet down in recent weeks with Mitrione preparing for his next round matchup against Ryan Bader while Nelson is a week away from a showdown against legendary heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop.
That being said, Nelson hasn’t forgotten about Mitrione or the unfinished business he has with him that still needs to be settled.
“The fight I was looking for was round No. 4 with Matt Mitrione, that’s what I was looking for and then when they called me and told me I had Mirko and this is what I had to do to get back in [the Grand Prix as an alternate] I was like let’s do it,” Nelson told MMAWeekly on Thursday during the Bellator 200 media conference call.
“He’s just a guy that I really am disgusted with. That’s a guy I really want to punch in the face. Everybody else I want to punch in the face just because I get paid. I’ll punch him in the face for free.”
Considering each fighter has a win over the other one, a rubber match at some time down the road would seem to make sense, especially considering the bad blood that’s boiling over recently.
Of course, Mitrione is concerned with winning the Bellator heavyweight title right now and Nelson is focused on his fight with Cro Cop next weekend.
Still it’s tough to imagine Bellator wouldn’t like to see these two heavy-hitters with a grudge to settle to clash again in the future.