Matt Mitrione on why he vowed he would never 'be cool' with Warren Sapp

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

14 years ago Matt Mitrione had a brief encounter with Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, an encounter that has left Mitrione 'pissed' to this day

If you caught the March 1 fight between Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan on UFC Fight Pass, you heard UFC commentator Jon Anik mention that Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was in the crowd and taking his seat during the bout. What you didn't see, was that after the fight Sapp extended his hand to Mitrione after Mitrione had knocked out Shawn Jordan at the 4:59 mark of Round 1.

Normally that exchange would have been rather insignificant, but for Mitrione that extended hand and Mitrione reaching out to shake that hand caused the UFC heavyweight to break a vow he had made to himself when he was a college football player.

Mitrione, appearing on a recent edition of The MMA Hour described how the post-fight incident went down in Macau, "You know how after a fight, if you did well, a lot of people reach out and you don't even look, you just shake a hand? I was walking by cageside, and somebody stuck their hand out, and I shook it, and dammit, it was Warren Sapp, and I was like, ‘Oh, he got me."

So, what caused Mitrione to vow that he "wasn't going to be cool" with Sapp? Mitrione told that story, a story that dates back to the 2000 Outback Bowl.


Mitrione, a defensive tackle for the Purdue Boilermakers at the time, said that he was supposed to do a video with Sapp, who he came across at a party that weekend, "Warren Sapp and I were supposed to do something the following day and I met him at a party that night," Mitirone recalled. "I went up to shake his hand, and I stuck my hand out, and I was like, ‘Hey I'm Matt Mitrione, we're supposed to do something tomorrow,' and he crossed his arms and he looked at me and was like, ‘Are you done yet?' and just walked away."

Mitrione said that the brief interaction with Sapp, "Struck a bad tone with me," and left Mitrione "pissed" even 14 years after the original incident occurred.

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