The last time we saw Matt Mitrione, the 33-year-old former footballer was on the business end of an ugly unanimous decision loss to Cheick Kongo. That was all the way back at UFC 137 on Oct. 29, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In that fight, "Meathead" found himself in a position he was unfamiliar with. Instead of running into an aggressive striker, as he expected, the Frenchman played it cool and confused Mitrione with his patience.
Speaking with MMAFighting.com, the former TUF guy admitted outright he didn't know what to do when his opponent wouldn't commit:
"I lost that fight because I didn't know how to fight a fight like that. ... I had to get a loss under my belt to find out things like that, to really change up my training. I didn't now how to engage somebody that didn't want to engage, without making myself vulnerable and over-committing to something. So that's something that Chris Lytle and I went back to the drawing board, and he taught me how to do that, and I think that really made a pretty substantial difference. I feel much more confident. If I ever have a fight like that again, I'll be able to handle that and address it pretty aggressively."
The best learning comes from experience and now the NFL veteran has a taste of what it's like to not only fight someone who can wait him out but what it's like to lose inside the Octagon.
In short, it's not fun.
That's why Mitrione is so looking forward to climbing back inside the cage to get back on the hog. He even knows who his opponent will be, though he won't spill the beans. Any Maniacs care to hazard a guess?