Matt Mitrione has become quite the media darling during his short career in the UFC, but Christian Morecraft plans on deflating the hype and bringing the Ultimate Fighter alum back to earth on Sunday.
“My strengths are my wrestling and my grappling. As far as I’m concerned, my striking has come a long way. I didn’t really get to unleash it in my last fight against McCorkle. I know people don’t think I’m much of a striker because I got knocked out by Stefan Struve but hey…Randy Couture and Matt Hughes have both been knocked out too. It’s MMA and anything can happen in this sport.”
Last time out, the Ithaca, New York native defeated outspoken heavyweight Sean McCorkle, who happens to be a close friend of Mitrione’s. Morecraft was blunt in his assessment of a grudge match.
“I’m sure Mitrione wants to redeem McCorkle’s loss, but I don’t see it happening my man.”
The winner of the bout has the potential to move up to the next echelon of the heavyweight division, a move Morecraft feels he’s more than ready for.
“Yeah I believe a win moves me up, but I still have a lot of holes in my game that I need to fill and a lot of work to do. But there are guys at the top that have holes in their games, so it doesn’t matter if you are ranked at the top of the division or if you are at the bottom. There are always things to learn in this game.
“Anybody can be beaten and you just have to stick with it and stay consistent. I used to take a month off after a lot of my fights because of my job, but now I am fighting full time. I’m able to get my two-a-days in, eat right and train the way I need to. I can’t wait. I really can’t wait for this fight.”
The matchup between Mitrione and Morecraft presents some interesting stylistic dynamics. While Mitrione has looked impressive with each venture into the Octagon, he hasn’t faced an opponent with the kind of grappling abilities that Morecraft possesses.
“Did you notice in that workout room you didn’t see me working on one ounce of grappling? All of that work has already been done in the gym. In that room I was working on counter-strikes, checking that kick and firing. How many people have you seen fight Mitrione and check his kicks and fire back? Nobody. How many people have come out there with explosiveness and dominated him on the ground? Nobody. I’m not like any of the four guys he’s fought in the UFC. I’m a different kind of fighter.
“I can finish this fight standing up, on the ground or on my back. I’m bringing full blown chaos and there are several different ways I can beat this guy. I could also lose because I’m a human being, but I don’t see that happening. I’m coming in there and I’m going to unleash the fury on Matt Mitrione.”