Frank Mir appeared down and out after a major motorcycle injury that derailed his once promising career. At the time of the accident, Mir was the UFC Heavyweight Champion after defeating Tim Sylvia via armbar. Mir rehabbed for nearly two years to get himself back into fighting shape and subsequently lost 2 of his next four fights. Many thought that Mir just didn’t look like the same fighter he was before the accident; but after two successive wins over highly thought of newcomers Antoni Hardonk and Brock Lesnar, Mir appears to be back in title contention and has declared himself to be 100% recovered.
Mir sat down with CBS Sportsline.com to discuss his fight with Lesnar, the UFC heavyweight division and his plans for the future. Here are the highlights from that conversation.
Mir On His Win Over Brock Lesnar:
It was a good win because of all the publicity on the fight. Brock Lesnar has a real strong wrestling base and is a very strong guy. I knew that catching him in a submission would not be easy. You don’t really understand it until you fight someone with that kind of strength. I just made adjustments for it during the fight. You can’t really be too concerned with what someone else brings into the ring.
Mir On His Analysis Of The Fight:
On the feet you can try to move away from someone to avoid taking any big shots, but on the ground, you are going to catch shots. The punches aren’t that bad on the ground, but the elbows can be very vicious if you throw them from a short range. I tried to attack as many submissions as possible to give Lesnar something to think about. Anyone can just tee off on someone who is defenseless on their back, but the minute you realize they can destroy a limb at any second it slows down your attack.
Mir On The Controversy Surrounding The Point Deduction:
When I was in the fight, I didn’t hear anything because I was underneath Lesnar. But after going back and watching the fight, I understood why. I could hear Mazzagatti giving the warnings to Lesnar, “Don’t hit in the back of the head.” Finally, after Lesnar didn’t stop because he was caught up in the fight, Mazzagatti did what he had to do. Any of those shots could be very detrimental to the fight. I mean, if I go and kick you in the groin three or four times — even if it’s unintentional — it’s going to weigh into the fight. Now, you’re not going to fight as well. I’ve heard boxers say you get one free shot before they warn you so make it count. You have to avoid those types of maneuvers in our sport. I was actually fine. When I got up, I felt the blood on the back of my scalp, and I was a little more worried about that. I wanted to know where the cut was.
Mir On His Future:
I want to fight whoever is ranked higher than I am in order to get in a better position to fight for a title.
Mir On The Best Heavyweight In The World:
You’re only as good as your competition. Before, with Pride being separate from the UFC, you had tough competition there and tough competition here. But now, we have the strongest competition. Fedor’s last opponent was not a ranked guy. If that is the trend now — to fight unranked guys — it will be very hard to sway the rankings. Fighting 7-5 guys is more of a carnival. Not that you’re not a great fighter, but you need to fight top guys. Nogueira is the top fighter in the top organization in the world. It would be very hard not to give him the top spot right now.
Mir On Brock Lesnar’s Future:
It depends on who he fights. He needs to be more selective on who he fights. He has a great ground-and-pound game, so that will be his strength. He doesn’t need to fight anyone whose strength is to fight off his back. If he fights Gonzaga, Nogueira, myself or Werdum, Lesnar could have trouble. We all fight well off our backs. Even if he’s winning the fight, he’s in a position that at any time we could end the fight. He needs to fight some top-level strikers. Therefore, he’ll only be in danger until he gets the takedown.
To read the rest of this interview with much more from Frank Mir head over to CBS Sportsline.com