Matt Mitrione was one of the biggest pickups for Bellator MMA when free agency in mixed martial arts (MMA) started picking up.
For "Meathead," the grass was indeed greener on the other side, as the towering Heavyweight inked a nice contract with the promotion.
Aside from the pay, Mitrione says the differences are vast, but what he finds more comforting is knowing he has more freedom and plenty more sponsorship dollars.
Furthermore, while UFC seems to be doing well at the bank, Matt says the promotion can't get out of its own way when it comes to fighter treatment.
“Freedom and obviously the sponsorship dollars. So, I am happy, I mean I can always be happier (with sponsorship ), but I am happy. It’s good business. It’s just nice, man. The UFC can not get out of its own way. I think it’s pretty evident in what they do, their consistent missteps. How they handle their guys, the media, like not giving the show money to that cat who made weight. Stuff like that, little tiny things that are just another notch against. I feel like they are, not in a colossal nose dive, but I do not think they are in the right spot. I feel like what Mr. Coker does very casually is what he needs to do to bring fans, eyes over to Bellator. And I think the production is completely different over at Bellator. It’s a spectacle, he took a page out of old Japanese MMA and made it bananas.”
Of course, if you ask UFC president Dana White everything is roses with his company, though some of his other employees still want a bigger piece of the pie.
As for Matt, he's very happy with his decision to jump ship. And he'll have the chance to win gold for the first time ever in MMA as he is taking part in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix which will crown a division king once it wraps.
His first hurdle will be against another UFC castaway in Roy Nelson, as they will collide this Friday Feb. 16, 2018 at Bellator 194.