Matt Mitrione had to know he wasn't in the good graces of UFC president Dana White. White has been on a tirade about fighters that turn down fights lately, and when Mitrione said no to a Strikeforce fight with Daniel Cormier, Dana decided to go public with it to call Mitrione out a bit. It appears to have worked, as Mitrione told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that he actually called Joe Silva and asked to fight Roy Nelson at the TUF 16 Finale:
"Unfortunately Shane blew his knee out, so it was reported, and they needed somebody to jump in. And, you know, I wasn't able to take a couple of fights they offered for health reasons or ability reasons, and you know, I tried to fight Gonzaga, and then when this came up, I thought it would be a fun fight with me and Roy, too. So, I called up Joe Silva and I was like, 'Hey man if you guys need someone to jump in and take it, I am willing to do that.' I am already in camp anyways, so what the hell. Just two weeks less of preparation, that's it."
He had been scheduled to face Phil De Fries on the undercard of UFC 155. It seems like a smart move for Mitrione, who hasn't fought since November 2011 due to various issues with scheduled opponents, to want to jump into a main event fight instead of being on the undercard. Yes, he could have done that for the Cormier fight too, but let's face it - Roy Nelson isn't as dangerous as Daniel Cormier.
Either way, Mitrione is a suitable replacement and it should be a decent fight on December 15th.