Matt Mitrione has spent his entire professional MMA career in either the UFC or Bellator MMA, his next fight against Fedor Emelianenko will be the biggest of his career, but he isn’t just looking for a win, but to steal the reputation of his legendary opponent.
"I'll have no problem trying to throw my fist into Fedor's face. None," Mitrione said on The MMA Hour. "That's my job, that's what I'm getting paid to do, that's why they brought us both together is because we're both exciting-ass fighters. Fedor's a huge legend and a massive name and I'm in the process of trying to make myself a legend. So I'll have no problem throwing hands on him and doing as much damage as possible to try to steal any kind of reputation he has and put it on my own."
Fedor has only competed twice since coming off of a three year retirement from MMA in 2015, but ring rust is something that Mitrione thinks Fedor has shaken off. He believes the best Fedor will be the one who steps into the Bellator MMA cage.
"Honestly he took a couple years off, right?" Mitrione said. "I think those are probably tuneup fights. I would expect to see the best Fedor possible when I fight him. I expect him to get back in and knock off the rust, get used to the adrenaline dump and moving around and the excitement of it. Fedor even cracked a smile on a staredown, faceoff. I think it's just getting back in the swing for him, getting used to it. I'm sure he'll be back on the grind and his murderous cabbage patch kid self again soon."
Bellator 172 takes place on Saturday, February 18 from the SAP Center in San Jose, California with Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione headlining.