Matt Mitrione will be making a quick turnaround after all. Less than a week after his harrowing but successful Bellator debut, the ex-UFC heavyweight has been booked to fight British veteran Oli Thompson on July 16 on the main card of Bellator 158.
Bellator first announced the news immediately following Mitrione's first-round knockout of Carl Seumanutafa at Bellator 157: Dynamite 2 -- a fight which was brilliantly profiled by our own Chuck Mindenhall. However the booking was only made official on Friday, as Mitrione had to be medically cleared after nearly being knocked out by Seumanutafa early in their back-and-forth showdown.
Now that Mitrione (10-5) is back on the winning track, he is looking to make some waves in his new home in Bellator.
The 37-year-old former NFL player spent the entirety of his professional fighting career competing under the UFC banner, debuting in 2009 on The Ultimate Fighter 10. During that time, Mitrione established himself as legitimate threat to anyone in the heavyweight division, scoring wins over the likes of Derrick Lewis, Shawn Jordan, Gabriel Gonzaga, and the late Kimbo Slice.
He'll now take on Thompson (17-8), a former professional strongman who rides a five-fight win streak into his Bellator debut. Thompson fought twice in the UFC back in 2012, losing both of his contests against Jordan and Phil De Fries before returning to the regional circuit.
Bellator 158 takes place at the O2 Arena in London, England. The main card airs live on Spike TV.
An updated Bellator 158 fight card can be seen below.
Douglas Lima vs. Paul Daley
Matt Mitrione vs. Oli Thompson
Michael Page vs. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos
Linton Vassell vs. Francis Carmont
James Gallagher vs. Mike Cutting
Michael Shipman vs. Lee Chadwick
Pietro Menga vs. Spencer Hewitt
Luiz Tosta vs. Dean Garnett
Jason Radcliffe vs. Jack Mason
Chase Morton vs. Nathaniel Wood
Alex Reid vs. Manuel Garcia
C.J. Meeks vs. Danny Mitchell