Those were some famous last words uttered by UFC commentator Joe Rogan at the start of the co-main event of UFC 137 last night (October 29, 2011) between two of the UFC's most powerful heavyweights.
Instead, the fans were left disappointed after one of the most lackluster heavyweight attractions of the year as both men never got off with their strikes and Mitrione proved he still needed some seasoning before being up for the challenge of some of the top heavyweights.
So why did this bout disappoint? And where to both fighters go from here?
Both heavyweights were extremely tentative early in the bout. There was practically no offense from either man for the first four minutes. Mitrione finally began to open up a bit with 30 seconds left but both men left shaking their heads as the horn sounded and they were showered with boos from the rowdy crowd.
Mitrione tried to pick up the pace in the second round, pressing the action and opening up with his punches more but Kongo's response was to repeatedly hop on his bicycle and back away from all of "Meathead's" offense. Kongo got off with some decent leg kicks, but Mitrione was visibly frustrated by Kongo's inability to engage with him when the round was over.
The third round would be all Kongo. After finally opening up aggressively with his striking, he initiated a clinch and then proceeded to put a whoopin' on Mitrione.
Instead of grabbing an underhook to prevent Kongo's offensive takedown abilities, Mitrione instead attacked with a head lock. This allowed Mitrione to drop down, grab a leg, lift it up nearly over his head and dump the former NFL football player on his back.
Mitrione was never able to recover. He got to his feet momentarily during the round, but was immediately dumps on his back once more and Kongo opened up with some ground and pound to bust up "Meathead's" face and cut him pretty badly. Since Mitrione was unable to initiate any offense off of his back or get back to his feet for longer than 10 seconds, the third round was all Kongo.
In the end, the fact that Kongo was able to dominate round three was the deciding factor in the bout as two of the judges had split the first two evenly matched rounds and Kongo was awarded a unanimous decision victory.
For Matt Mitrione, he's got to be disappointed with the result. He was light on his feet throughout the fight, his striking defense was solid and instinctual, but he could never get any good offense going, primarily due to Kongo repeatedly backing away. He got flustered easily and that may have led to Kongo getting the big takedown in the third round. Mitrione is not done yet, however. He still has promise at heavyweight, although we should temper our expectations about him challenging for a title any time soon.
Expect to see Mitrione face someone like fellow recent losing prospect Brendan Schaub or perhaps someone like Ben Rothwell or Jon Olav Einemo if they want to take a step back on his development even more.
For Cheick Kongo, he got the job done, although he didn't exactly turn a bunch of heads with his victorious performance. There's not much else to say about his victory other than who he'll likely face next. Don't be surprised if you see him against someone like fellow main card winner Roy Nelson or perhaps recent UFC on Versus 6 winner Stefan Struve. Mike Russow could also be looking for an opponent after his fiasco with Dave Herman earlier in the month.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you disappointed by the lackluster performance from both heavyweights? Despite the setback, what do you think of Mitrione's future?
All gifs by Zombie Prophet via IronForgesIron.com.