Tungviktaren Matt Mitrione blev under sin match mot Travis Browne petad i ögonen vid två tillfällen, något som Browne hävdar var en olyckshändelse. Detta påverkade hans syn under matchen och han förlorade sedan via TKO i tredje ronden.
Mitrione känner nu i efterhand att det borde ha varit domaren Gary Forman som skulle ha fattat ett beslut att bryta matchen efter den första ögonpetningen istället för att inte göra någonting.
Det här berättade Mitrione, via ”MMAFighting”:
I feel that I’m a competitor. I’m a life-long competitor. And I know that I’m losing the potential of getting the other half of my paycheck if I say I can’t go anymore. So, I’m going to do anything I possibly can to continue fighting, even if it’s not in my best option, because I need just one chance to get him.
In the middle of that fight, after the first eye poke, I was fighting with one eye closed just so I could see one Travis. That’s not a safe way to fight at the highest level in the world against people that are [skilled in] takedowns, kicks, punches, everything in the world. So I feel like, once that was seen and I had my eye closed for however long it was closed, like a minute or something like that…that should have been a sign to the doctors and for the referee to be like, ‘hold on, dude’s closing his eye because he can’t focus, we need to call this a no contest. We need to save him from himself, and step in and do something about this.’ Because I’m not going to do that, because I’m too grindy and gritty and I want my paycheck. But it’s not a safe way for the sport to evolve.
I’m not going to blow the whistle on myself, and removed that chance of getting the other half of my money.
Tungviktaren drabbades av kraftig svullnad på höger öga med ett krossat okben och en axel ur led efter andra ögonpetningen. Browne fick ingen varning från domaren efter det inträffade. Mitrionen anser nu att man borde införa direkta repriser efter händelser som denna.
Broken orbital floor. This and the shoulder happened after the 2nd eye poke. I don’t think they would’ve happened pic.twitter.com/wFn1NC3j5Y
— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) January 18, 2016
For example, I finally got the straight left I was waiting on for Travis, I finally got it and it was time for me to go for the kill. I start going in for the kill, I throw my long hook followed by a straight, and that’s when I get poked in the eye. And then I kind of fell back and covered my eye up, and the referee lets it continue and lets Travis kind of jump into it, and I’ve got to kind of start swinging to protect myself.
In that situation, they should have let me speak to my corner, not strategically, but to say, hey, coach I can’t see shit. I’m seeing double and it’s eight inches apart. And Henry’s going to be like, look dude, you do not need to finish this fight, because he’s going to step in for me and protect me. Whereas me, they’re putting pressure on me saying hey can you go, and I’m telling them, look dude, just give me five minutes so I can pull my eyes back together. That’s how far my double-vision was.
Mitrione förtydligar att han inte försöker komma med några ursäkter för att han förlorade matchen och han tror inte heller att petningarna var avsiktliga.
The thought of losing my other paycheck was on my mind. I’ll go blind for more money, but I’m not going to go blind for the company. So like, I feel that, no I didn’t think of that, but I guess indirectly I did because I’m thinking about winning. Even though in the moment I knew it wasn’t the safest decision for me to go ahead — like, how can I fight the number whatever guy in the world, with one eye closed?
That’s the thing man, it shouldn’t be up to me, the guy who lives his life to compete to make a decision. It should be up to the commission, the doctors and the referee to realize the dude is fighting with one eye closed, and he’s complaining about seeing double.
In that situation, you have to protect me from myself. You have to. That’s your job. That’s what the commission and the doctors are there for, and the referee. That’s what he’s there for. Otherwise it’s a fair fight and they don’t need anybody else. But when something comes into the mix, that is a curve ball, a variable that wasn’t expected, and there’s an injury to a fighter…well of course, dude, that’s my money. Of course I’m going to go out and do everything I can to get my money.