Las Vegas, NV — After over a year out of action, featherweight standout Bryce Mitchell (14-0) returns to action Saturday at UFC 272, where he’ll face his biggest challenge yet.
The Arkansas native is paired up with Edson Barboza, a Brazilian veteran who Mitchell admitted watching as his own career was starting out. But despite the enormity of the match-up, “It feels like any other fight in certain aspects,” Mitchell said during Wednesday’s media day, “because when you go in there, all this sh*t goes out the window, and you get that same feel of a fight that I’ve had since I fought people at the bus stop when I was a kid.”
Of course, in other ways, fighting now is a vastly different experience for Mitchell. “Now, when I go through these processes, it feels like a religious experience. I feel an overwhelming sense of purpose and passion for what I’m able to do, and I just feel so blessed to be here,” Mitchell told media outlets including Cageside Press. “And I’m so happy to be able to be healthy enough to put on a show for y’all, and I’m so happy that people really want to see me, I feel appreciated. It feels amazing.”
With an undefeated record and facing the #10 ranked fighter in the featherweight division, the outcome of Mitchell vs. Baraboza could set the 27-year old on a path to the title. “That’s what I’ve envisioned, and I’m getting closer and closer to it, and I’m going to give it everything I have in my ability to get there,” he stated Wednesday.
Of late, however, Mitchell has been turning heads for something other than fighting. His outspoken political views and conspiracy laden beliefs have made the rounds in the news, especially when he suggested on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour recently that the U.S. government was behind school shootings.
Ahead of UFC 272, Mitchell suggest that being able to talk about what he believes are political issues is “more purposeful” than the fight game.
“I want to talk about things that I think are political, and I want to do it in a respectful manner, not to make other people think that I think they’re stupid. I want to share my beliefs and hear other people’s beliefs. And maybe their beliefs can sway mine a little bit, maybe not. Maybe I can out-debate them,” Mitchell stated. “Because this fight sh*t is so minuscule in life. You think ‘yes, it’s great for me and a small circle of people that I can help,’ but this sh*t is so minuscule. You have people out there being oppressed by governments— we fall into that category, believe it or not, if you want me to get real political. The Federal Reserve is a corrupt institution, there I went out and said it. These people control our dollar, brother, and we didn’t vote for them. Think about it. You got 13 board members voting on the value of the dollar. Did we vote for that? No. It’s corrupted.”
“For me to actually be able to talk about something greater than fighting, is more purposeful than anything I could talk about related to fighting,” Mitchell continued. “So I’m grateful to be able to do that. A lot of people say, ‘shut up and fight.’ You know what, if you don’t want to hear that sh*t, turn off the TV and watch the fight. You don’t gotta watch my interviews. Turn them off then. Instead of telling me to shut up, why don’t you just stop listening? Because there’s a lot of people that agree with what I’m saying about some of my political views, and I’m happy to talk about them and debate about them.”
Watch the full UFC 272 media day appearance from Bryce Mitchell above. The event takes place this Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. More coverage from the event can be found below.