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Matt Mitrione Explains Why He Turned Down Travis Browne Fight at UFC on FOX 4

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Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

When the news of Ben Rothwell's injury was first reported, a lot of MMA fans asked, Why not have Matt Mitrione fight Travis Browne?

It's a valid question, especially since Mitrione was once scheduled to fight Rob Broughton at UFC on FOX 4 before visa issues forced Broughton off the card. In fact, the UFC recently asked Mitrione to step in on short notice to fight Browne, but he decided to turn the fight down. Here's why:

According to Mitrione, he was informed that his fight against Broughton was going to be scrapped from the card five weeks ago. He even alluded to that on a July 3 episode of The MMA Hour. Since then, he has yet to be booked on another UFC card. He was hoping to fight on Sept. 7 in his hometown of Indianapolis, but that card was recently canceled.

"Since I haven't been booked," Mitrione said, "I have been home visiting my children and not training in a way that would allow me to do two things: put on a fight that the fans deserve and fight a top-tier fighter like Travis Browne."

Mitrione, who hasn't fought since last October due to various injuries, admitted to thinking long and hard about the opportunity, but ultimately felt like he made the right decision.

"It's inevitable that Travis and I will fight," he said, "but he and the fans deserve the best me possible because that scrap will certainly have title implications when it happens."