For the second time, a proposed heavyweight bout between Matt Mitrione and Rob Broughton has been cancelled due to Broughton dropping out for undisclosed reasons. The match-up was originally scheduled for UFC on FOX 4 earlier this month, and then rescheduled for UFC on FX 5 in Minneapolis in October, but Mitrione tweeted last night that he was once again without an opponent:
"— Ole Matrone (@mattmitrione) August 30, 2012
@shaunphillips95: @mattmitrione whens ur fight." got canceled again. 5th time this year. Not @ufc fault. Wish heavyweights would scrap!
Fortunately for the TUF alum, he didn't have to wait long for the UFC to book him a new opponent. MMA Weekly reports this morning that Britain's Philip De Fries will step in to face Mitrione and the fight has now been shifted to the UFC 155 card in Las Vegas on December 29th:
A heavyweight bout has been added to the upcoming UFC 155 fight card with Matt Mitrione taking on British fighter Phil DeFries on Dec 29. UFC officials confirmed the fight on Friday.
It's an unfortunate series of circumstances for Mitrione, who will not have fought in over a year when he steps into the Octagon in December, having last appeared in a decision loss to Cheick Kongo in October of 2011. Prior to that, the former football player had strung together an impressive 5-0 record in the UFC, surprising to many considering he had no pro experience prior to his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter.
De Fries, a BJJ specialist, has been shoring up his overall MMA game with the Alliance team in San Diego, having relocated there permanently from the U.K. After racking up an 8-0 record on the English regional scene, De Fries made his UFC debut with a decision win over fellow Brit, Rob Broughton, who he is now replacing in the Mitrione fight. The BJJ black belt followed that up with a KO loss to rising prospect, Stipe Miocic, but quickly rebounded by submitting Oli Thompson on the UFC on FOX 4 card earlier this month.