UFC on Versus 4 Preview: Is Dana White Spoon-Feeding TUF Alum Matt Mitrione?

Dean StoneContributor IIIJune 22, 2011

MONTREAL- MAY 8: Kimbo Slice (L) punches Matt Mitrione in their heavyweight bout at UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Over the years we've seen a select few UFC fighters spoon-fed competition that wasn't exactly up to their skill levels.

Michael Bisping and Kim Dong-Hyun immediately come to mind.

Don't get me wrong, the UFC is head and shoulders above boxing when it comes to promoting competitive fights. And when a fighter is helping to grow the sport in another part of the world, it's in the best interest of all involved that they continue to win.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it, UFC fans in different countries get new heroes to cheer for and young future fighters get someone to aspire to.

But there have been a few cases of spoon-feeding in the UFC that has nothing to do with developing the sport globally. Some Ultimate Fighter contestants have had an easy go of it as well.

Diego Sanchez' first five fights after winning TUF 1 (until Josh Koscheck publicly called him out) immediately comes to mind.

Now it looks like the latest Ultimate Fighter alum to be getting soft opposition just might be Matt Mitrione.

Mitrione will be stepping into the Octagon for the fifth time at UFC On Versus 4 this Sunday night, and once again he's fighting a sub-par opponent.

This time Joe Silva decided that Christian Morecraft would be a safe matchup for "Meathead" to maintain his unbeaten streak and continue to bring in the football fan demographic into the UFC.

Just to compare. By the time Brock Lesnar got into the Octagon for the fifth time he was defending his title for the second time. Shane Carwin's fifth fight in the Octagon was for the belt, and by the time Junior dos Santos had his fifth UFC fight, he had already fought Cro Cop, Struve, Yvel and Werdum.

Matt Mitrione is fighting a guy who would be 0-2 in the Octagon if he hadn't punched Sean McCorkle in the groin before slapping on a standing guillotine choke.

So now we have to watch a fight where an up-and-comer is a -260 favorite. How does this do anything to elevate Mitrione in the UFC heavyweight rankings?

It doesn't.

What a Mitrione win does do is get a dozen or so pro football player's faces in the stands so that the nationally televised cameras can close in on them between fights.

I don't think it will happen, but I'm cheering for the Morecraft upset in this one, just for principal's sake.