INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 25: (R-L) Joey Beltran and Matt Mitrione react at the end of their UFC heavyweight bout at Conseco Fieldhouse on September 25 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
While it may feel tiresome to talk about Jon Jones over the last two weeks, there's a seemingly bottomless pit of quotes from either Jones himself or other fighters weighing in their thoughts on the LHW champion. Today, UFC heavyweight and TUF 10 semifinalist Matt Mitrione went on The MMA Hour to talk about his career, his next opponent, but most notably his thoughts on Jon Jones. Not only did Meathead give his opinion Jones as a person, he went as far as saying he'd love to fight Jon Jones at heavyweight. (Via MMA Fighting)
"Over time he (Jones) went from a pretty cool guy, humble, to as arrogant as I can handle," Mitrione said. "He seems really disingenuous, blah, not my flavor of a human being. I even told (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva, if he talks of going to heavyweight, I'd love to welcome Jon Jones to heavyweight. I'd love to try and punch you in the face."
While Mitrione went on to say (jokingly) he could be Jon Jones' James Irvin moment, the former Purdue and NFL football player believed he could beat the #1 light-heavyweight in the world.
"Yeah, I think I can beat Jon Jones. I think on a good day I can beat anyone in the world.
"I'm not a fan of Jon Jones as a person, but I like him as a fighter. He's athletic, has a lot of talent. As a fighter, I understand why he said `No,' (to fighting Chael Sonnen at UFC 151). He has a lot to lose. But a lot of people are correct."
And of course, Mitrione is also in the overwhelming majority of fighters who have publicly disagreed with Jones' decision to turn down the Sonnen fight.
"You're being paid a pretty ridiculous amount of money, branded the face of UFC, the face of a new division at Nike, there's some responsibility you have. At some point it doesn't matter who it is, let's get down and dance."
"I don't see Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, or Cain Velasquez saying no to a fight with any heavyweight," said Mitrione. "I think that Jon should have taken it because of the situation he's been put in and what he's been given. To whom a lot has been given, a lot is expected."
Jones has discussed moving up to heavyweight, possibly as early as 2013 or 2014, and it would be one of the most exciting additions to the division. Mitrione, who hasn't fought since his loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 137 in October, fights Philip De Fries at UFC 155 on December 29th.
I can't say a Jones vs. Mitrione fight would be intriguing other than how much damage the entertaining, tough-as-nails Mitrione can take, but Mitrione is one of the first fighters I can think of who has wanted to fight Jones at heavyweight and I give him a lot of credit for that. It certainly would be a fun scrap, and Mitrione is honest enough to admit it wouldn't be a "superfight" of any sort given his standing in the division.