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When fighters say no

Dana White sounded pretty pissed off when Matt Mitrione turned down the ‘opportunity’ to cross over to Strikeforce and face HWGP winner Daniel Cormier. In his mind, he was offering Mitrione a huge opportunity to headline an event. The guy who actually had to put his body on the line apparently saw things from a slightly different perspective. Mitrione’s explanation basically boiled down to “He’s a wrestler and I suck at wrestling so I said no,” which you can then further distill into “I probably would have lost so I said no.”

On one hand, it seems reasonable – even ethical – that fighters shouldn’t have to say yes to fights they feel they have very little chances of winning. Unfortunately, the liberal application of that sentiment would mean we’d be seeing a lot more fights getting turned down. And next thing you know you’ve got guys only saying yes to fights they have very little chances of losing. From there the sport gets sucked into a massive black hole of ultra-pussitude and who wants that?

I figure the UFC is just going to have to continue muddling along the way they currently are: making sure the matchmaking is generally fair enough that fighters don’t feel like they’re being thrown to the wolves (or Kingsbu’d as I like to call it now) and playing it by ear when a fight is refused. Dropping Matt Mitrione into a short-notice fight against a guy who just wiped the cage with Josh Barnett isn’t fair. Even a Meathead can see that. So hopefully once Dana White cools down, he’ll take Mitrione off his shitlist and save his ire for someone he didn’t just try to job.

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