After dropping consecutive fights for the first time in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Matt Mitrione is prepared to get cut from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster should he lose his third straight against Philip De Fries this weekend (April 6, 2013) at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in Stockholm, Sweden.
"Meathead" will try to avoid a trip to the unemployment line by attempting to engage Phil in his specialty: A "stand-up war."
And while exchanging on the feet didn't work out too well for Mitrione in his last outing, losing in the first round to the heavy-handed heavyweight Roy Nelson via technical knockout (TKO) at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale, he is still confident he can "put his hands on anybody."
Training alongside K-1 standout Tyrone Spong and Dutch kickboxing coach Henri Hooft has only upped his striking confidence. But as Mitrione told UFC.com, Phil isn't the type of "fool" that will stand and trade with him:
"As a striker, I think I can put my hands on anybody and put them in a bad situation. Phil is no fool. Phil is going to do whatever he can to get me against the wall. He's not going to stand in space with me and trade off. If he does, that would be awesome. I don't think he will. I think he's going to come out, throw a jab, a looping right hook, and then try to rush me against the wall. He may just throw a jab and drop in for a double. We'll see. But I don't think he's the type of guy who is going to stand there and trade off with me."
Perhaps a ground battle will be more up Philip's alley, whose eight of nine victories have come via submission.
Then again, Matt has yet to be submitted in his relatively young career. But, can Phil -- a purple belt in jiu-jitsu -- be the first to make the former NFL player tap out?
Or will Mitrione keep his spot with the only MMA organization he's ever known with a knockout performance in Sweden?