While they may not be best friends, Roy Nelson and Frank Mir were both born and raised in Las Vegas and share a number of acquaintances as a result.
The fact that they are set to fight each other tonight in the co-main event of UFC 130 doesn’t really bother either of them, but Mir explained during the pre-fight press conference earlier this week (props to MMAFighting) that it has taken some navigation to comfortably deal with their shared relationships.
“In this situation with Roy, it’s difficult because we have a lot of mutual friends,” Mir said. “James Johnson is in his corner on Saturday night -– the guy was one of my groomsmen in my wedding! So we have a lot of mutual relationships where I might not be his best friend, but we have mutual best friends that go back and forth.”
For Mir though, at the end of the day, a fight is a fight and, when the cage door closes, he’s going to go to work just like he’s facing any other opponent.
“This will be the closest I’ve ever been to any of my opponents,” Mir said. “I’m cordial with everybody –- I try to be. But it’s a fight.”
Nelson echoed Mir’s sentiment and said that, while he would rather not inflict permanent bodily harm on Mir, this is the nature of their job and he’ll certainly be looking to pick up his win bonus on Saturday night.
“It’s just one of those things,” Nelson said. “You’d prefer to fight somebody that you really would rather derail their whole career. I have no ill will toward Frank. But it is what it is, and if the UFC wants you to fight whoever, then that’s what you do to get paid.”
UFC 130 goes down tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will feature a main event between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Matt Hamill. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com later this afternoon for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.