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Matt Mitrione Would Be 'Honored' to Fight Cheick Kongo

Matt Mitrione has been around sports for the better portion of his life so he knows all about paying your dues and respecting veterans.

That's why when pressed on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour about who he wants to fight next, the now 4-0 heavyweight really didn't want to share the opponent he had in mind for fear of disrespecting him.

However, after hearing of the way Brian Stann tactfully expressed a desire to fight Wanderlei Silva following UFC 125, Mitrione finally spilled the beans.

"I would be honored to fight Cheick Kongo. I think that would be a lot of fun to throw down. I think it would be a lot of fun to fight somebody of that caliber. Somebody that has legendary stand-up, has a wrestling game to them, has a good ground-and-pound game. I think it would be fun. I think it would be a real trip to get in there and see how well I can fare against him.

"I respect the hell out of him. I've met him several times, and he's always been extremely cool and very, very polite. I think it would be a lot fun."

Kongo (15-6-2) is coming off a draw against Travis Browne at UFC 120. While he is 1-2-1 in his last four fights, he would definitely be the most experienced fighter Mitrione has ever faced. As MMA Fighting reported on Tuesday, he is hoping to return to action in June.

It took Mitrione just 2:59 to defeat Tim Hague on Saturday night. The performance was by far the best of his young career. And as is usually in the case in MMA, some fans have already begun calling for the 31-year-old former NFL defensive tackle to fight the top heavyweights in the UFC.

"I see on the Underground that people are calling out Shane Carwin and stuff like that. That's a different type of ball game. I think all of us in this division stand a puncher's chance against anybody, but I think that there's a lot of development I have, and I think that if I'm fortunate enough to get to fight Cheick, I would have to have five, six months off before that fight to make sure I have developed the things that I'm weakest on and that I get to come in there as developed and as strong as possible."

In his next breathe, Mitrione completely contradicted himself by saying he would like to fight in two weeks. That is, of course, if his injured left hand doesn't prove to be broken.

"I want to be the heavyweight Chris Leben, where they say, 'Hey, look, we just had a heavyweight fall out, we need a guy,' poof, Mitrione, come on in here. I would love to fight in two weeks. Man, I only fought for three minutes and I didn't even get punched. Didn't get punched, bro! So, I might as well still be in camp right now."

Mitrione is expected to find out the severity of his hand injury on Wednesday. Until then, he has been medically suspended for an indefinite amount of time and must be cleared by an orthopedic before fighting again.

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