Matt Mitrione says he might just look like “your drunken uncle” in the stand-up world, for those not used to seeing his fighting style.
Leaving the world of MMA behind (potentially for good), Mitrione (13-9, 1NC MMA) is partaking in the experiment that is Triad Combat this weekend — a boxing/MMA hybrid being promoted by Triller FC.
While the Triller name tends to bring with it eye rolls and thoughts of Jake Paul sideshows, they have assembled some veterans for their latest experiment. And the concept — a stand-up fight that allows clinching, but not kicks, in a triangular ring — was enough to get Mitrione’s attention.
Speaking during a virtual media appearance recently, Mitrione said that he isn’t taking part in Triad Combat for the money, noting that he’s been blessed in that department. Rather, it’s the experience of Triad Combat.
“It was different, right? I love stand-up. I think stand-up’s a great time. I like kickboxing, I like getting down, I like throwing hands, but I’m really, to nobody’s surprise, I’m not much of a fan of wrestling,” he stated. “I posted the other day, I don’t consider wrestling fighting. I consider it vital for MMA, but I don’t consider wrestling fighting. So I think something that comes along that can utilize the skillset we use in MMA, with the gloves we use in MMA for training, but utilizing the footwork and the aggression and the science behind boxing, I think that’s a hell of a concept.”
While money’s not the motivating factor for Matt Mitrione, he did find a noticeable, favorable different between past MMA contracts, and his Triller deal.
“I think it’s a really interesting perspective, once the contracts came through, to look at the differences, in how either boxing or Triller contracts are, versus what my MMA contracts were, as far as things that were just automatically included, that you didn’t have to negotiate or bargain for,” observed Mitrione, who went on to say that “it was a pretty substantial difference, to the betterment for Triller. So I don’t know if that’s difference, or this is the standard boxing clause. I’m not sure. But I know it is significantly different and significantly better than what MMA is.”
Mitrione didn’t specify as to what no longer had to be negotiated for. But he did name drop the Ali Act, which has yet to have an equivalent in mixed martial arts. He also noted that he likes that fact that there are incentives for fighters on the Triad Combat card.
“There’s incentives for MMA to do well, incentives for boxing to do well, it incentivizes us to really push each other and help each other’s success,” said Mitrione.
Mitrione faces boxer Alexander Flores at Triad Combat this weekend, with two-minute rounds in play. Those short rounds are something the former football player, UFC, and Bellator star called a “double-edged sword.”
“A guy like my opponent, Alexander, he pushes pace. He has really good tempo, he’s got really good cardio, so I expect fireworks from him anyways,” said Mitrione, going on to add that Flores is “a good power guy, he’s got good combinations, so I imagine he’ll bring the pace as well, regardless of what the duration of the rounds are.”