UFC on Versus 4 fight card: Matt Mitrione's rise continues against Christian Morecraft in Pittsburgh

Photo via UFC

There's a lot of turmoil surrounding the National Football League (NFL) right now. The lockout, labor strife and greed abound but one former pro footballer has prospered in his new endeavors.

They call him "Meathead."

Matt Mitrione has risen steadily through the ranks of the heavyweight division and that continues tonight (June 26) when he goes head on against Christian Morecraft at UFC on Versus 4 in Pittsburgh.

Sure, the former Vikings defensive lineman has all of four fights in his young career.

But he's progressed in each and every one of them, showcasing an ever evolving skill-set to go with his obvious drive and dedication to become one of the best in the sport.

From his knockout of Marcus Jones in his Octagon debut to his disposal of Kimbo Slice and on up to his thrashing of Tim Hague just this past January, the blue-collar Mitrione has been doing what he does best.

Getting the job done.

He's been helped along by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

No, I don't mean Silva has given him match-ups he can easily emerge victorious in. I mean he's been treated for exactly what he is: a 32-year-old prospect with a ton of talent but raw skills in need of honing. 

As Mitrione moves along through his career, he's fine-tuned his game and found what works best for him. As of yet, that has meant utilizing his athletic ability to keep fights standing, where he can work his speedy punches and crushing kicks to chop down his opponents.

But he does have a ground game -- or so he says.

His UFC on Versus 4 foe, Christian Morecraft, isn't buying it. He's made it known that all the trash talk and pompous attitude exhibited by Mitrione is simply a smokescreen.

Apparently, it's a tactic to drive attention away from the deficiencies in "Meathead's" game.

Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. Morecraft is certainly a difficult test, one Mitrione is taking very seriously, as you can see from his intense demeanor and not often seen mean streak at the weigh-ins staredown.

Perhaps that's what "Minecraft" has done better than any of Mitrione's previous opponents; he's made the normally happy-go-lucky Boilermaker lose his cool.

Or so it would seem.

Either way, we'll find out tonight just who has the skills to go moving on up the 265-pound ladder. Is it Mitrione?

Time will tell.

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