Uncasville, CT — Heavyweight prospect Tyrell Fortune came away from Bellator 262 with a win over Matt Mitrione, but it was not without controversy.
While shooting for a takedown in the opening round, Fortune’s head clashed with Mitrione’s — an accidental foul that was not called during the fight.
“He stepped forward so I went for the shot instead of throwing a punch, so I guess I made contact with my head,” Fortune explained following the bout, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “Besides that I was running through him for the takedown, as you’ve seen I finished on top, and the fight went from there.”
In the moment, Fortune didn’t feel the headbutt. “I can only go off what he was saying at the time.” Fortune did pause, waiting for a moment to see if the ref would stop the fight. He didn’t. “The ref said continue to fight two times, and that’s when I continued to fight.”
Mitrione, however, was incensed. Not at Fortune, with the two being friends, but at the non-call by the ref. Still, Fortune doesn’t necessarily see the need to run it back. “That would be on his part to ask for a rematch,” Fortune said. “I’m winning. I’m just ready to keep it going.”
Fortune is, however, seeking a rematch of his own. That would be against Tim Johnson, who represents the only blemish on Fortune’s 11-1 (1NC) record. In fact, Fortune wants Johnson more than he wants a shot at the belt.
“I want Tim Johnson. I don’t want a title shot, I’d rather have Tim Johnson first. That’s really the only fight I’ve been training for since that loss,” Fortune explained. “With him taking that loss [for the interim title against Valentin Moldavsky] and me taking this big win, it should line us right up.”
His game plan for that fight is simple: “I’m going to try to knock his ass out just like he did to me.” But if the match-up doesn’t come, Fortune plans on staying active. “I’m fighting. I’m not waiting for nobody. If he doesn’t want to fight, that just shows more on his side that he’s scared or doesn’t want the rematch or whatever it is.”
Watch the full Bellator 262 post-fight press conference with Tyrell Fortune above.