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Matt Mitrione ready to find out how he stacks up against division’s best

Matt Mitrione has experienced plenty of highs and just as many lows during his professional career. Saturday night, “Meathead” takes on Cheick Kongo in the co-main event of UFC 137.

Mitrione, who came to fame on The Ultimate Fighter, has won all five of his professional MMA fights. He is a former NFL player, having suited up for both the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.

While his five previous fights have been good tests for Mitrione, he knows Kongo is another beast due to his vast experience. Kongo has been inside the Octagon against the likes of former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir and current UFC heavyweight title-holder Cain Velasquez.

“Skill-wise, it’s a big step up,” said Mitrione, in a recent interview with UFC’s website. “But is it that much of a step up? I don’t know. We’ll find out on Saturday if I get my ass kicked.”

For Mitrione, fighting is still something he is learning. Coming from a football background, Mitrione has had to adapt his skills to best suit him in MMA. Training with Duke Roufus has also helped speed the process.

“I’m in that transition period now. Maybe six months ago I was still a football player that was learning how to fight,” Mitrione said. “I feel that now I’m much more of an MMA guy. But I think I’ll always be an athlete that can do this, that or the other. And I don’t know how to classify that.”

MMATraining Take: Mitrione has went from a guy that seemed to just be on TUF looking to make a name for himself to someone that has the desire to be the best MMA fighter in the world. His personality has changed for the better, as well, since entering the UFC. In Kongo, he will have his hands full, but Mitrione should be able to control the action better than friend Pat Barry did and score a decision victory.

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