Following each episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights, Team Rashad member Matt Mitrione will share his thoughts on what happened on camera and behind the scenes.
The note was gamesmanship. I was trying to get into people’s heads. I had nothing but time to think so I may have over thought that one but I knew what I was going for and what I was intending on happening. Now, Wessel – Wessel was the one who wanted the fight changed. I was supposed to fight Marcus all along but Wessel said he fights better against big guys so I said I’ll fight Junk, great. Wessel was distracted and didn’t want to be in the house. His wife was really sick and he wasn’t allowed to talk to her so he was mentally out of it. Before the fight he didn’t want to train, didn’t want to spar. So I told Rashad that I didn’t want to fight after him and Rashad said he understood that completely, that he wouldn’t want to follow him either.
Then the orange juice – by this time nobody liked Madsen. They’d laugh about him pitching a fit about drinking from his family-sized orange juice. John Madsen and I started off sparring together and that’s when the coaches said 60%. Then I went through another six rounds – I think one round with Keith Jardine and two with Nate Marquardt – and then came back to Madsen. I was sloppy and gassed and he still quit.
As far as talking about voices in my head it was kind of a joke. Nobody here likes me so let’s see what I can do to freak out the camera people. I was going stir crazy. I had no other friends in the house at the time except for Darrill and I couldn’t really tell Darrill what I was doing at the time. It was my own personal joke. It was a way to keep myself entertained. I have a really active mind and I can’t sit around and stare at the other people in a house. I gotta stimulate myself. When I was in the cage and I told T and Rashad that I had a conversation with my wife in my head I was trying so hard not to laugh as I said it.
When the fight started I didn’t pace myself. I was so pissed at Junk for throwing me under the bus that all I wanted to do was punch him in the face. Get back up, get back up so I can punch you in the face again. I knocked him out the first time I caught his kick. He was knocked out. His head hit the ground and the ground woke him back up. Then I started to gas. I didn’t know that that level of tired existed. You see people get that way but I’ve never been there on my own. It was a real big learning experience for me. But now I know how to prepare my body for that.I felt like the only time he could touch me was when I got really, really gassed. I could have ended that fight in 30 seconds if I had any confidence in my ground game but I learned a lot. I dug deep and did what I thought I had to do to win. Scott Junk is tough. I put hands on him for the first three, four minutes and the fact that he came back and kept getting up says a lot.
I’m not crazy, fighting doesn’t make the voices in my head dissipate. It just lets me not have to think for a little while, it just lets me be alive. That’s the best thing about being a defensive end. You don’t think, you just react. You think too much you slow down, so just go out there and let it fly. Maybe now people will start to see that maybe I am legit and maybe there is a method to my madness.