Matt Mitrione Admits Opening Round Matchup Against Roy Nelson 'Didn't Make Any Sense'


Matt Mitrione knows in his heart that he's already the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in Bellator MMA. With three wins in a row including a knockout against legendary PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko in his last fight, Mitrione felt like he was poised to compete for a title in his matchup but instead he was entered as one of eight competitors in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. For his first round matchup, Mitrione was pitted against fellow UFC veteran Roy Nelson, who he actually faced nearly six years ago in a fight that ended in a knockout loss. Mitrione hasn't harbored any feelings of ill will towards Nelson since that time, although he's happy to avenge a prior loss. Still, Mitrione can't help but wonder the reasoning behind matching him up against Nelson in what he believes is a fight between the two best heavyweights on the Bellator roster. “I felt that it didn't make any sense,” Mitrione explained when speaking to MMAWeekly. “I felt like why would you put No. 1 versus No. 2 in the first round? “I think Roy is arguably the No. 2 guy in the tournament. He's definitely the No. 2 guy in the division. I think that makes this really difficult. That makes this really challenging and I think it's extremely tough. The winner is going to come out of my side of the bracket for sure. Myself, Roy, [Ryan] Bader and [King] Mo, hell yeah that's a tough bracket. Initially I thought I was going to be on the other side of the bracket against “Rampage” [Jackson] and Chael [Sonnen]. It is what it is.” There were plenty of questions surrounding the seedings in the tournament after the brackets were first announced. While Mitrione was matched up against Nelson, former UFC champion Frank Mir is set to face Emelianenko in the opening round while Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader will meet fellow 205-pound contender Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal in another first round matchup. Chael Sonnen, who has competed most of his career as a middleweight, already defeated former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in their opening round fight in January. In other words, the four heavyweights were matched up against each other while the four light heavyweight were paired together, guaranteeing at least two of them would make it into the next round. Mitrione can't help but wonder what the logic was behind that reasoning, but ultimately he's happy to face whoever Bellator puts in front of him and for now that means a rematch with Nelson this weekend. “I feel that this tournament is tough,” Mitrione said. “I feel that my draw is extremely tough but once I get past Roy, which I do believe I will, then I have one hell of a scrap against either Bader or Mo but I haven't put much thought into that at all.” While the pairings in the tournament confused him, Mitrione can't hel…

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