Matt Mitrione made his Bellator debut last night in St. Louis and had to weather an early storm by Carl Seumanutafa, which saw him get dropped by a punch in the opening moments of the fight.
Mitrione would be able to survive the flurry of attacks by Seumanutafa on the ground and would end up scoring a knockout victory at the 3:22 mark of the opening round. Following his victory, it was announced in Mitrione’s post fight interview that he would be returning next month at Bellator 158 against Oli Thompson.
After this fight booking was announced, media members and fans of mixed martial arts began to talk on social media about this decision. Should Mitrione be returning be returning that quickly after being dropped in the matter he was? Why did Bellator feel a rush to announce this fight before Mitrione was checked out by the doctors working the event for the Missouri Office of Athletics?
During the Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 Post Fight Press Conference, Bellator President Scott Coker was asked about this situation and explained that just like any other fighter, Mitrione will need to go through the proper medical test to be cleared for the July 16 card in London.
“I think that maybe we jumped the gun a little bit,” Coker stated during the post fight press conference. “But we went and talked to Matt and said, ‘hey are you ok?’ He felt that he was fine. But along with the other fighters that fight on these cards, we are going to take them through the proper medical tests and I think the commission will get involved. We will see what there position is on this and then make a determination on what happens from here.”
Prior to Coker answering that question, Mitrione was asked about the fight and returning on such quick notice. He explained that he passed all of his post fight test with the Missouri Office of Athletics and believes there should be no issues with him facing Thompson next month at the O2 Arena.
“It was a learning experience. Second time I have ever been dropped. I am glad that I got to show my mettle. Get in there scramble a little bit, get on top, throw a bomb and land it. It was great. It was cool. By the way everybody, I passed all of my medicals. My concussion protocols. I am good. I am healthy. I am ready to scrap three weeks. I have nothing more that I have to do I believe. I think I passed everything and appeased everybody.”