Matt Mitrione is still a baby in the fight game. In fact, many pundits believe this lack of experience will cost him on Saturday night when he steps into the octagon with a veteran like Cheick Kongo at UFC 137. Speaking to FightLine.com, the Illinois native believes he’s received all the training necessary to win this fight:
“I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had some really good coaches and some people that are very experienced and have a great amount of knowledge to impart on me and they’ve been willing to help me. I’ve worked with coach Ray Sefo quite a bit, worked with Neil Melanson, and even worked with Randy (Couture) on clinch, on wrestling and fence work. So, I’ve been pretty fortunate. Then I went down to Fort Lauderdale, worked with Rashad and Tyrone Spong and just learned quite a bit from those boys down there. Tyrone and Pat Barry, you can’t get too many better striking coaches to work with hands on every day.”
So is he confident all his work will lead to a win on October 29th?
“Most definitely (it gives me confidence). I mean it’d give anybody confidence, right? If I can bang around on the fence with Randy then I feel I can hold my own against whoever. It’s a good thing. I’ve been fortunate that people have interest in my career. Even though a lot of people though coach ‘Shad and I had issues, we get along really well. We’re both competitors, we’re both fiery, and we’re gonna get the best out of each other, that’s kind of something we work on. I have a lot of confidence coming into this fight. That’s why I said before, if Cheick beats me, he beat the best possible product I could give him. Then good for him, he was the better man that night. But, I feel ready. I’m ready to scrap.”