Bryce Mitchell put on a hell of a performance at UFC 272, defeating the extremely dangerous Edson Barboza in dominant fashion. How dominant? The only controversy on the scorecards was related to the judges not giving enough 10-8 rounds. Mitchell walked away with a 30–25, 30–26, 30–27 unanimous decision win ... and a whole lot of new fans after pledging to donate half his pay to charity.
“For 10 years y’all had my back I haven’t done a damn thing for y’all,” Mitchell said during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “And I’m about to show you I’m not just good at hurting people. I can help people. Half of my fight purse, $45,000, is going to Arkansas children with medical conditions who have no hope. We will be their hope! In the name of God these children will be healed.”
During UFC 272’s post-fight press conference, Mitchell explained the thought process behind his generous act.
“Well, children are some of the most precious things on the planet, brother,” he said. “And I see so much evil and wickedness in the world and so much greed. People killing for money and it makes me sick. I wanna do the exact opposite. You know what the greatest thing I can do in the cage is? It’s inspire. That’s the greatest thing that I can do in that cage is inspire people. And I’m gonna tell you why.
“Me by myself, I can’t do s—t,” Mitchell continued. “My $45,000 when it comes to medical professions, really ain’t s—t. That s—t’s gone in one surgery. That s—t’s gone in a couple of skin grafts. But if I can inspire you and you and you and you, then it’s limitless. It keeps going, it’s perpetual. So the greatest thing I can do is inspire, and I really feel like I’ve done that and I really feel like I owe that to God.”
For a mid-card fighter in Mitchell’s position, $45,000 is a lot of money. UFC is a self-admitted “eat what you kill” organization and careers often don’t last too long. Fighters pay for everything out of pocket. So to give that amount of money up is no small act. Fortunately, UFC President, Dana White, is cracking open UFC’s wallet to cover Mitchell’s donation.
“The kid’s making 45 and 45 tonight, and was gonna give 45 to the [children] ... and I respect that,” White said. “And I said we’ll do it, we’ll take care of it.”
“Dana White came up to me after the fight and said, ‘Don’t give your money, I’m going to give the $45,000.’” Mitchell said. “I’m still going to give some money, you know? But he said ‘Don’t give any of your money, it’s going to be mine and I’m going to take care of it.’ But I’m still going to do something because I just need to.”
“There will be more than $45,000,” Mitchell said with a smile. “We have people coming out of the woodwork. So I’m planting a seed and we’re going to watch this thing grow. It’s all about giving back, like I said, this ain’t just gonna be about hurting people when I’m done. We’re going to help people.”
“Every time I fight there will be children healed. Through the fight, yeah.”
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