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Bryce Mitchell reveals financial woes, UFC negotiation tactics that forced him to fight at UFC 282

Bryce Mitchell claims that even after suffering from the flu, he opted to fight Ilia Topuria because of his financial conditions. Movsar Evloev was expected to face Mitchell in the main event at UFC Fight Night 214 on Nov. 5, however, he was compelled to withdraw because of an injury. A month later, Mitchell was given the chance to fight Ilia Topuria and he consented.

In the main card opening game of UFC 282, Mitchell met Topuria in a crucial featherweight match, and everything does not go as planned for "Thug Nasty." Topuria dominated the fight from the beginning and trampled Mitchell to death in the third round with an arm-triangle choke.

In an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Mitchell explained why he agreed to the battle in the first place. Mitchell said that the flu he had the week before the fight contributed to his bad performance. However, it turns out that Mitchell's alleged motivations for battling were more significant. Due to financial difficulties, he was effectively coerced into accepting the fight.

“I had a lot of circumstances going on. People don’t really see the stuff that the fighter is contemplating before the fight, what the factors are, this and that. I just don’t think I was at my best.”

“Honestly, I had a couple thousand bucks in my bank account, and they told me that, ‘If you don’t take this fight, we’re not finding you one until February We’re booked.’ So it’s like, you can live off a couple thousand bucks in your bank, or you can fight December 10, and if not, f*** off until February. So I said, you know what, I don’t want to live off a couple thousand bucks until February, and I would’ve made it. I could have scrapped by and maybe I should have, but at the time, I thought I’d win the fight. I thought I was going in there with the flu to kick somebody’s ass anyway. And that just wasn’t the case. I was not capable of kicking ass that night.”

Mitchell is certainly not the only fighter who finds competing to be a challenging means of making ends meet; the issue of fighter wage has gotten more and more widespread in the MMA world in recent times. Mitchell said he has no issues with the UFC's salary despite what occurred.

In this interview, Mitchell continued by saying that despite coming into the bout with the sickness, he had complete faith in his ability to win. Then tiredness started to creep in.

“Maybe I should have, but at the time, I thought I’d win the fight, brother. I thought I was going in there with the flu to kick somebody’s ass, anyways. That just wasn’t the case. I was not capable of kicking ass that night. I was capable of taking an ass-kicking, and I did do that pretty well.

“If I would’ve known how shitty I would’ve felt walking in that cage… and I’m not talking, like, scared, I’m talking, like, when I was throwing punches, they weren’t hard. I was gasping for air. But I felt very comfortable in there.

“The whole time going into the fight, I thought, ‘yeah, I’m kick this guy’s ass.’ But I just wasn’t there.”

Mitchell was observed thinking about retiring in front of his coaches in the locker room just after the defeat. Mitchell acknowledges that it was simply done in a hurry. Even though that money was the primary motivator, he was lured into the cage for a few other motives as well. Despite being ill, he wished to attend to demonstrate that he is not a bitch. Another factor is the concern over what would happen if he was unable to participate in the fight in February. Mitchell’s record now stands at 15-1.


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