Written by Paul Delos Santos
Matt Mitrione was fully aware that he wasn’t liked in The Ultimate Fighter house, and added that he didn’t have many friends in it.
Through the magic of Spike TV editing, Mitrione has become the villain of the season, and it was made perfectly evident in the latest episode of the show.
“It was Team Rashad versus Team Jackson versus Team Mitrone,” he said.
So far this season, Mitrione has been called “the rat,” “the snitch,” and “meathead” by various members of the cast, and has been featured prominently in four of the seven episodes.
“I’m the source of drama,” Mitrione said. “I get three comments from fans: ‘You’re hysterical,’ ‘[Your strategy is] a good idea,’ or ‘I think you’re an asshole.’”
His strategy came into play when he told Scott Junk that Mike Wessel was afraid to fight him.
Mitrione said he wanted to get inside of Junk’s head, but the rest of the house didn’t see it the same way.
“I’m doing stuff to mess with Junk and take away preparation,” Mitrione said. “[When news of the note spread,] you get a room full of high school girls. He said this. He said that.”
Another key point in the episode was when Mitrione was talking about hearing voices in his head and listening to birds and talking his wife in his dreams.
He reassures everyone that he hasn’t gone mentally insane, or as Rashad Evans put it, "the cheese hasn’t fell off of the cracker."
Mitrione is doing what keeps him sane—having fun and making jokes.
“I’m just having the time of my life,” he said. “I’m saying whatever I want. I do what I want to do. I didn’t have any friends there, so I made the best of a bad situation.”
He added that when he told Evans about speaking to his wife in his head, the producers edited out when Mitrione revealed it was just a joke.
“I start cracking up with a big smile,” Mitrione said. “The look Rashad shot me was worth four million dollars … That’s funny. The people who know are going to think it’s hysterical.
“There is no way a rational human being can say the things I say and mean it. I like to believe that I’m a fairly intelligent kid. I have to do things to keep me calm.”
Like the media’s phrase surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers player Manny Ramirez, Mitrione said the people who truly know him will see it similarly.
“Like Manny being Manny, it’s just me being me,” Mitrione said.
Mitrione fought Team Rampage fighter Scott Junk, walking away with a majority decision victory, which kept Team Evans undefeated on the season.
Throughout the first round, Mitrione dominated the stand up for the first four minutes, knocking Junk down three times.
Each time, Mitrione refused to jump into Junk’s guard, and Mitrione credits his inexperience on that facet of the MMA game.
“The first four minutes were just me kicking the [expletive] out of Junk,” Mitrione said. “It was like me fighting a fifth grader. I didn’t want to finish him on the ground … I had limited ground experience.”
By the second round, both men were visibly gassed, but unlike the second fight of the season, Mitrione and Junk weren’t holding their hands on their hips and top of the cage, but rather attempting to move forward and at least connect some shots.
“It sucked we got gassed,” Mitrione said. “We put on a show. Both of us had a great show of heart. I think that the fans should appreciate it.”
Mitrione credited Junk for being a difficult fighter to finish.
“Junk is a tough dude,” Mitrione said. “He kept getting up and he just kept coming … I punched him really hard in the face, and he kept coming back.”