Cheick Kongo and Matt Mitrione squared off in a heavyweight showdown at UFC 137 and Kongo eventually took the unanimous decision victory.
Mitrione opened the fight showing lots of movement and was able to make the first round pretty close. Then the second came and again, Mitrione stalked Kongo and made another close round for the judges.
Then in the third Kongo broke Mitrione down and got the takedown and held him on the ground. Kongo was able to break Mitrione and keep him from standing back up.
Even with his striking background, Kongo beat Mitrione on the ground.
Mitrione finally got his step up in competition. He finally got a good heavyweight. But he ended up getting the first loss of his career.
Mitrione has beaten some low level heavyweights and took a step up, but unfortunately it wasn't time.
In this division, you need your ground game. Mitrione doesn't have the caliber ground game needed to fight the best of the division.
If Mitrione were to face someone like a Brock Lesnar or even someone like a Roy Nelson, he would have some serious trouble on the ground as shown tonight against Kongo.
Mitrione's striking is improving since his time on The Ultimate Fighter, but even there it is something to be worked on.
The best thing about Mitrione is his movement, which for a heavyweight is impressive. He does show some nice movement.
Tonight though he finally got that step up in competition and in his first true test, he failed.