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Bryce Mitchell reveals financial woes, UFC negotiation tactics that forced him to fight at UFC 282

Bryce Mitchell says he was left with no choice but to fight on at UFC 282 despite comprised state because of flu.

Bryce Mitchell tries to survive a submission attempt from Ilia Topuria at UFC 282.
Bryce Mitchell tries to survive a submission attempt from Ilia Topuria at UFC 282.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC

Bryce Mitchell lost the zero on his record at UFC 282 when he was submitted in the second round by Ilia Topuria. The 28-year-old “Thug Nasty” – who contemplated retirement immediately after the loss – also blamed his performance on the flu he caught the week before the fight.

But as it turns out, Mitchell had deeper reasons for supposedly fighting compromised. In his recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the Ultimate Fighter alum said he was essentially forced into taking the fight because of financial issues.

“I had a lot of circumstances going on. People don’t really see the stuff that the fighter is contemplating before the fight, what the factors are, this and that. I just don’t think I was at my best.

“I had a couple thousand bucks in my bank account, and they told me that ‘if you don’t take this fight, we’re not finding you one ’til February.’ They said, ‘we’re booked.’

“So it’s like, you can live off a couple thousand bucks in your bank, or you can f—ng fight December 10th. And if not, f—k off ’til February. So I said, ‘you know what, I don’t want to live on a couple thousand bucks ’til February.’ I would’ve made it, ‘cause I could’ve scrapped by, I really could’ve.”

Mitchell went on to say in this interview that he entered the fight flu-stricken and was fully confident he’d be able to pull it off. Then the fatigue set in.

“Maybe I should have, but at the time, I thought I’d win the fight, brother. I thought I was going in there with the flu to kick somebody’s ass, anyways. That just wasn’t the case. I was not capable of kicking ass that night. I was capable of taking an ass-kicking, and I did do that pretty well.

“If I would’ve known how shitty I would’ve felt walking in that cage… and I’m not talking, like, scared, I’m talking, like, when I was throwing punches, they weren’t hard. I was gasping for air. But I felt very comfortable in there.

“The whole time going into the fight, I thought, ‘yeah, I’mma kick this guy’s ass.’ But I just wasn’t there.”

Because of the loss to Topuria, Mitchell’s record now stands at 15-1.