For those who enjoy such things, there were plenty of storylines surrounding the Bellator 262 co-main event on Friday. The heavyweight showdown pitted veteran Matt Mitrione against up-and-comer Tyrell Fortune, a true old lion versus young cub match-up.
Beyond that, the pair had trained together, and were putting friendship aside for Friday’s showdown in Uncasville, CT. Fortune, in fact, had been Mitrione’s wrestling coach for several years.
Mitrione was also trying to shake off a three-fight skid, though the heavyweight veteran took issue with at least two of those losses, to Sergei Kharitonov and Tim Johnson. The Johnson fight, in particular, would loom large as the Bellator 262 co-main event played out.
Early on in Mitrione vs. Fortune, Matt Mitrione found himself exactly where he did not want to be: taken down and on his back, Fortune raining down nasty ground n’ pound. Mitrione immediately complained about a headbutt that came during the takedown, but the fight was allowed to continue.
It was a headbutt that Mitrione had taken issue with in his fight with Tim Johnson, and by the time Fortune had finished off “Meathead” on Friday, he was again complaining against the accidental foul, which was clear on replays. Mitrione appeared to dip his head as Fortune charged forward, leading to the clash of heads.
In the end, Mitrione submitted to strikes, but he never let up on calling out the foul, to no avail. Mitrione could be overheard screaming at referee Dan Miragliotta following the fight, a result of the non-call by the ref.
Fortune, for his part, said he was unaware of the foul initially. Assuming the win stands (Mitrione’s appeal of his loss to Johnson was rejected by the Mohegan Sun Commission), the heavyweight’s record improves to 11-1, 1NC. Mitrione has now lost four straight.
Official Result: Tyrell Fortune def. Matt Mitrione by submission (strikes), Round 1, 1:45