Not awarding Frank Mir the knockout of the night bonus pretty much tells you how Dana White felt about the dreadful main event at UFC 119, but rather uncharacteristically Dana didn’t say anything about it at the post-fight press conference. Instead, he laughed at grumbling fans on Twitter for complaining about Mir not getting the bonus, and later told ESPN.com that Mir isn’t above being cut if he doesn’t perform in his chosen profession.
“I have no clue about Frank,” said White, before offering a clue. “To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that’s a little frustrating. Once “Cro Cop” stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor. If Frank Mir can’t bully you, his heart shrinks to the size of the Grinch’s. If he can’t take you down, his heart shrinks to the size of a pea.”
Might we have seen the last of the 31-year-old Mir, a UFC fighter since 2001, in the Octagon? Could White cut him?
“Sure,” said White, wiping some candor off his chin. “You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job.”
“You go to your job and don’t perform; what will happen? And when people say, ‘Hey, these guys put their lives on the line,’ that’s a crock of s—. This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!”
“These guys aren’t going in to Afghanistan,” he said. “The US military puts their life on the line. Police, firefighters walk into the line of fire … UFC fighters do not. These are smart guys with college educations. If they don’t want to do this, go out and get a real job.”
The UFC typically doesn’t have the power to release someone coming off a win, so don’t expect Frank Mir to loss his job anytime soon. Plus, while Mir doesn’t always win, it’s rare that he contributes to a boring fight. For better or worse, his fights are usually entertaining, so I tend to think he just had an off night and got sucked into the weird pattern Mirko has settled into. Still, it serves as a reminder that there’s nothing Dana White hates worse than a main event fighter that fails to put on a good show.
On a quick side note regarding Dana’s comments about the safety of the sport, I understand the context of his remarks, but I still urge everyone to read this piece about the mounting evidence of CTE from head trauma written by veteran MMA journalist Ivan Trembow. As safe as we like to think this sport is, it hasn’t been around long enough like football or boxing to see the long-term effects of the multiple concussions many fighters will experience over the course of their careers, but the signs are there and they aren’t promising.
Image via Sherdog
Update: Apparently, fans have been bombarding Dana White on Twitter wondering if he’s going to cut Frank Mir after seeing the ESPN.com report. He wanted to make it clear he is not.
To end this shit I did not say I was cutting Mir. Reporter said” could u” I said of course I could. It was VERY clear I was not.
To echo Dana’s comment, I wasn’t at all trying to insinuate that Mir was on the chopping block, and I hope it didn’t come across like that. I think the point of the story is no fighter on the UFC roster is above being cut if said fighter continuously fails to perform as expected. Barring a long losing streak, I doubt we’ll see Mir or any other high profile UFC fighter, Anderson Silva for instance, cut in the future for performance issues.