Matt Mitrione may have declined a fight against Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Winner and all-around wrestling bad ass Daniel Cormier, but he is still a team player, looking to get back in the good graces of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) head honchos by stepping up to take on Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 Finale on Dec. 16, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Meathead" opted not to face "DC" in Strikeforce at the request of UFC officials in an event that was scheduled to go down on Nov. 3, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Okla., after Frank Mir -- Cormier's original opponent -- came down with an injury. Instead, Mitrione had his sights set on former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson.
A decision that didn't sit too well with company president Dana White.
In the end, neither of those bouts came to be because the Strikeforce event was scrapped altogether and "Rampage" has since been lined up to face feared Brazilian, Glover Teixeira, at UFC on Fox 6 on Jan. 26, 2013.
However, Mitrione was able to save face, stepping up to the plate and offering to replace Shane Carwin, who suffered a knee injury that forced him to bow out of his heavyweight collision against "Big Country."
Appearing on "The MMA Hour," Mitrione says he was the one who picked up the phone and called Joe Silva and offered his services, not the other way around:
"Unfortunately Shane blew his knee out, so it was reported, and they needed somebody to jump in. And, you know, I wasn't able to take a couple of fights they offered for health reasons or ability reasons, and you know, I tried to fight Gonzaga, and then when this came up, I thought it would be a fun fight with me and Roy, too. So, I called up Joe Silva and I was like, 'Hey man if you guys need someone to jump in and take it, I am willing to do that.' I am already in camp anyways, so what the hell. Just two weeks less of preparation, that's it."
That's one way to get out of the doghouse.
The former NFL player suffered his first loss of his young mixed martial arts (MMA) career against Cheick Kongo back at UFC 137, while Nelson is coming off a first round destruction of Dave Herman back at UFC 146.
Both have proven their specialty lies in the striking game, but only one can prove superior to the other in "Sin City."
Who will it be?