If you were scratching your head yesterday after hearing Matt Mitrione had been chosen to be a replacement for Shane Carwin, you’re not the only one. For those of you that don’t remember, Mitrione recently turned down a fight with Daniel Cormier before Frank Mir stepped in. So why would a fighter who turned down a headliner slot, sat out a year, and is coming off a loss, get another shot to headline?
Acording to Dana White he wasn’t the first choice and perhaps not even the second for that matter. MMAWeekly has reported that a ‘few’ Heavyweights turned down the call to face current Ultimate Fighter coach Roy nelson before the honor came to Mitrione. While sometimes we don’t hear of these mysterious fighters that turn down fighters, this time a fan asked Dana White. Why not Cheick Kongo against Roy Nelson at the finale, asked a fan. In response Dana explained that Kongo was asked and turned down the match.
It’s amazing to think that fighters turn down the opportunity to revitalize their career. Such as the time when multiple 205 pound fighters turned down a fight with Jon Jones for the title and a middleweight had to jump up a weight class to challenge for the title. It’s questioning as to why a fighter like Cheick Kongo, who is looking for a title shot after is coming off a disappointing loss would turn down the oppurtunity. Whether it’s fear of unemployment in a loss or an unspoken understanding that refusing fights is now the norm, either way UFC match maker Joe Silva’s job is only getting harder.