Bellator 207’s Matt Mitrione is tasked with fighting a friend in Ryan Bader at their heavyweight grand prix semi-final on Friday. And while he’s singing his buddy’s praises, he’s not the biggest fan of a style that might leave you with “a positive pregnancy test.”
New York, NY — Matt Mitrione has Ryan Bader in his sights at Bellator 207 on Friday in Connecticut. The fact that the two are pals outside the cage hasn’t complicated things too much, so it’s no surprise that ‘Meathead’ was singing his friend’s praises at the open workouts on Wednesday in New York City at Viacom Headquarters. Yet when all is said and done, the winner of their fight will be heading to the finals — so don’t expect either man to go easy.
Bader, coming into Bellator 207, has suggested that he might have a speed advantage thanks to his light heavyweight nature. Yet Mitrione, asked whether Bader might be overlooking him, pointed out that “speed is a factor with a lot of other guys. I’m different. I think everyone underestimates my speed and my power, and my agility and my athleticism, until it’s too late. Look and some of the guys I’ve knocked down.”
When it comes to Bader’s attributes, “Bader is very good at what Bader does,” Mitrione explained. “He’s good at making a fight slow down. He’s good at making a fight almost boring to a certain extent. You know on the ground, he’s going grind you out, it’s not going to be that exciting, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up with a positive pregnancy test afterwards. But he’s very good.”
“He’s our best, he’s Bellator’s best 205’er. And he was one of the top five in the UFC forever and ever and ever,” Mitrione continued. “That’s just who he is. He’s always the bridesmaid, never the bride. So now he’s trying to become the bride and his confidence is great. And rightfully so, he’s done a great job.”
Asked if he thought Bader’s less-than-exciting style had held the light heavyweight back, Mitrione quipped “ask Jon Fitch.”
As to preparing for the decorate wrestler, Mitrione was blunt. “This camp sucked. It was really unenjoyable. Really unenjoyable,” he said of his experience preparing for a high level wrestler.
Check out the full open workout media scrum ahead of Bellator 207 in the video above! Bellator 207 takes place Friday, October 12 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.