Apparently Matt Mitrione would rather settle a score then headline his first Zuffa show.
UFC boss Dana White told reporters Saturday that the former NFL player and outspoken contestant from The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 turned down a fight against Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix champ Daniel Cormier.
"Yeah, (Mitrione) turned the fight down," an upset White said following Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 5 event from Nottingham, England. "It’s (expletive) insane. It makes no sense to me. I’m a little bummed out by it.
"Listen, you don't want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it, then," continued White of Mitrione, who sports a 5-1 record in his young MMA career, but hasn't fought in nearly a year. "All I can say is, I guess he doesn't want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted."
The 34-year-old Mitrione was given first dibs at Cormier, after the Olympic wrestler's original opponent for a Nov. 3 show in Oklahoma City, former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir, had to pull out due to injury.
Instead of filling the void for the crossover bout between heavyweights from Strikeforce and the UFC, White said Mitrione wanted a bout against former 205-pound champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson because of a beef that started between the two last week on The MMA Hour.
"He wants to fight a guy who weighs 205, but doesn't want to fight the guy who's the real heavyweight, the legitimate guy who's ranked," White said. "And Mitrione's not getting any younger."
White said a fight between the two is unlikely as Jackson is recovering from injury himself, while Mitrione already has a Dec. 29 bout lined up with Phil De Fries at UFC 155.
While White expressed his disappointment with Mitrione's decision to turn down the bout, he said Cormier was willing to take on anybody for the Showtime-televised show that takes place in his backyard, as Cormier was a standout collegiate wrestler at nearby Oklahoma State University.
"Cormier will fight anybody," White said. "The guys who are the real guys fight anybody, man. They’ll fight anybody."