Mitchell faced his first career setback in December, succumbing to a second-round submission by Topuria at UFC 282. The match showcased Topuria’s dominance, leaving Mitchell to reflect on what could have been.
Post-defeat, Bryce Mitchell openly contemplated retirement while grappling with the aftermath of the loss. However, he’s poised to make a triumphant return to the Octagon and will be headlining the co-main event at UFC Vegas 79 against the formidable Dan Ige. This bout holds significant stakes for both combatants.
While Mitchell’s focus is squarely on Ige, there lingers a fervent hope for a rematch with Topuria. Mitchell yearns for a chance to face him on equal footing, free from the constraints of illness. He contends that the initial match should not bear weight in their rivalry.
Addressing his loss, Mitchell expressed at UFC Vegas 79 media day: “The loss does not bother me. What bothers me is that my pride wouldn’t let me pull outta that fight. I shouldn’t have even been in that damn cage, I lied to my coaches, I would not tell them how sick I was cause I didn’t wanna appear as a coward.”
“I took the fight impaired and then I had to live with the consequences. It was so stupid of me to think that I could go in that state and beat such a great fighter. I won’t make that mistake again. It just makes me look like an idiot. I feel like it wasn’t even me in there. That’s what makes me mad. I want a rematch, that s**t don’t count.”
December 10, 2022
Topuria returns to Featherweight
Puts a beating on the then undefeated Bryce Mitchell
Locks in an arm-triangle finish in Round 2 pic.twitter.com/rYYqEqDiAi
— Ocelot MMA (@Ocelot_MMA) June 19, 2023
While Bryce Mitchell harbors aspirations for a rematch with Ilia Topuria, it remains an uncertain prospect. This can happen especially with a victory over Dan Ige at UFC Vegas 79.
Topuria currently stands close to a title shot, further complicating Mitchell’s path to redemption. To secure a rematch with Topuria, Mitchell must string together a series of victories.
Should fate grant the opportunity for a rematch, Mitchell exudes confidence in his ability to prevail over Topuria if he is in optimal health.