UFC 137 Fight Card: What a Win Would Mean for Matt Mitrione

Andrew Barr@@andrewbarr8Correspondent IOctober 29, 2011

photo courtesy of mmalinker.com
photo courtesy of mmalinker.com

Tonight, Matt Mitrione will take his first step into the spotlight.

The former NFL player is set to take part in the co-main event of the evening, a heavyweight bout against UFC veteran Cheick Kongo.

All of Mitrione's professional fights have taken place inside the UFC, and so far he has put together an impressive 5-0 unbeaten streak.

However, Kongo is a much more dangerous fighter than any of Mitrione's previous opponents.

Known for his vicious power and technical kickboxing, Kongo is arguably the division's third-best striker and has a decent wrestling game to go along with it. He is considered by many to be a top 10 fighter within the UFC's heavyweight division.

This will be Mitrione's toughest fight yet, but if he can pull it off, a win will be huge for him.

A victory tonight for Mitrione means that he's a real threat to the heavyweight division.

Up until this point, Mitrione has been fun to watch and looked impressive in the cage, but the fighters he has defeated have been B-level at best.

A win tonight would show Dana White and Joe Silva that Matt Mitrione is ready to compete with the best in his weight class and likely guarantee him a big-name opponent in his next fight.

This is actually a great fight for Mitrione in that the payoff is huge if he wins, and a loss would only be a minor setback.

Mitrione is going into this fight with nothing to lose and the world to gain.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8.