The third fight on the main card of the stacked Dillashaw vs. Cruz event in Boston is a fight that guarantees entertainment. Heavyweights #6 ranked Travis “Hapa” Browne and #14 Matt Mitrione step into the octagon for a chance to move up the division’s crowded ladder. Mitrione took to Twitter to numerously lobby for this fight, and after back and forth jabs between the two, the UFC finally booked it.

Browne came into the UFC in 2010 and was quickly viewed as the next big thing in the heavyweight division. In his first six fights he had five wins, four in which were by finish. He then faced his biggest challenge in Antonio Silva in a bout that he lost. Browne put that loss behind him when he gathered together three incredible wins over three big names in Gabriel Gonzaga, Josh Barnett, and Alistair Overeem, with all three wins being brutal finishes. That put Browne in the biggest fight of his career as a headliner in a No. 1 contender fight against Fabricio Werdum, with the winner getting the title shot against Cain Velazquez. Browne suffered a clear 5 round decision loss to Werdum in a bout that he showed how much hear he truly has, fighting through numerous in-fight injuries that he pushed through to make it to the judges score cards.

His next bout was against Brendan Schaub in a fight that he made a statement in with a dominant first round performance. This all led to his last fight against former champion Andrei Arlovski, a bout that he entered in as a huge favorite, with very few people believing Arlovski had any type of chance. The fight went on to be if not the best round in heavyweight history, one of the best fights of 2015. Browne was rocked early on in the first round and seemed to never truly recover, as he was clearly out on his feet for the rounds entirety. Just as it looked like it was all over Browne landed a shot of his own that dropped Arlovski, but was too hurt to capitalize on and was soon absorbing punches on the feet unintelligently, forcing the referee to finally intervene and put a stop to the bout. Browne has not fought since and will be looking to avoid back to back losses for the first time in his career against Matt Mitrione.

Mitrione, a former NFL football player, made his mixed martial arts debut in the UFC and competed on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter back in 2009. He started off 5-0, until being halted with back to back losses from Chieck Kongo and Roy Nelson. He came back strong from suffering the first two fights of his career with a knockout win. His next fight he suffered a submission loss to Brendan Schuab. Still young in mixed martial arts, with a record of 6-3, he looked to finally show the experience he had gained and what he was truly capable of in 2014. He gathered together three incredibly impressive knockout wins all coming in the first round, defeating Shawn Jordan, Derrick Lewis, and Gabriel Gonzaga all in impressive fashion, showing that he improved his striking immensely and that he wasn’t just a wrestler.

Mitrione finally looked like he had come into his own and was a serious threat in the heavyweight division. He went into his last bout with a 3 fight win streak and confidence of a champion against the very tough Ben Rothwell. To start the first round Mitrione was winning the scrap until he made the mistake of shooting for a takedown in a fight where he was excelling in the standup, putting him right into a Rothwell guillotine choke and getting submitted in the first round. Mitrione is going into this bout to show that his last fight’s mistake does not reflect the fighter he is and that he truly is one of the best heavyweights in the division, and who better of a fighter to test that then Travis Browne.

Both fighters have made it clear that they do not like each other and I believe this fight with play out on the feet, with the last man standing through 15 minutes being the winner. Both fighters are desperately trying to bounce back from a loss and the winner of this bout will have their names thrown back into the fights that’ll get them closer to the title in the very shallow heavyweight division.

About The Author

Jake Schneider
Staff Writer

Jake Schneider is a student at the University of Rhode Island who is currently looking to pursue a double major in Communications and Journalism. He is an MMA fanatic who has been following the sport for years. He began to share his wealth of knowledge and opinions on the sport to many of his family members and friends as well as various MMA forums online. His love and passion for the sport has been able to make many people that are a part of his life fans of mixed martial arts as well. His insight of the sport both inside and outside of the cage is what makes his analysis on fights and individual fighters so well informed.