Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir has always been a straight shooter.
Mir, who is currently serving a suspension, talked with “Submission Radio” recently about a number of subjects, including previous opponents Mark Hunt and Brock Lesnar.
If Frank still has the desire to fight or if he’s thought about retirement while taking a break on suspension
“No. Actually, if anything it just makes you want to compete more. Especially cause like taking the last ten months off, my body – I think hard training and we really don’t understand how to do it yet in MMA, I don’t think. I think that’s why you see so many guys hurt and taken off of cards, because we train at a different intensity than we would at just normal training to learn or to be in shape, and I think it causes a lot injuries. So when you train for fights, I think it’s accumulative damage. So now, you know, I’m still 37, I’m able to work out and just kind of look and still being so exposed to martial arts. I sit there now cageside, watching fights, calling them, doing analytical work, breaking them down. Richard (Hunter) and I are watching fights and breaking them down on the Phonebooth Fighting podcast, I get to see things. I’m like, wow, why did I do it this way if this is the easier way to do it? And I’ve obviously probably become more of my own head coach of recently, from like, well you know what, you need coaches to help you out, but really, like I don’t need to really re-invent the wheel, I kind of know what I’m doing. And having guys on the side as advisors is a great thing, but me trying to be humble and just empty my cup, I think I’m past that now. And so there’s things that I want to try. So now I’ve been in the gym, just training just to be healthy and move around. And it’s like, oh if I’m able to move and my brain and body can follow what my brain knows what to do, I’m pretty dangerous. It’s just that connection. And obviously in a few years that’s going to just take it’s course to where we’re seeing now where athletes can still perform as fighters in their early 40’s. Mark Hunt’s doing really well in his early 40’s. For all practical purposes I think Dan Henderson should probably be the middleweight champion right now. And so, but eventually, I mean let’s be realistic, saying you’re 50 and fighting at a high level probably is still kind of a stretch for human physiology.”
If Frank’s still pursing getting out of his contract
“Well I asked that and it’s not looking like it’s happening. I’m still trying to get lines of communication going. So as I find out more I kind of release more, and that’s why on my podcast I really haven’t said anything more, because I don’t really have any new information. My suspension is only through UFC, not through an athletic commission. So if I were to get released, I could go fight again somewhere else. As long as I’m not under a UFC contract, then they’re holding me back form fighting and then I wouldn’t be able to fight again until like March or April of 2018.”
On Mark Hunting asking for his release from the UFC as well and if Mir can relate to Hunt’s situation
“Slightly. I think that different aspects of it (I can relate to). We’re both upset with how our situation’s going and wanna be released to go into other areas. And with Mark Hunt, he’s a little bit older than I am. So being 42 years of age, I think they’re just trying to play the card of just holding his contract as long as possible before releasing him. So I understand the situation where the guy has to fight to make a living. If they’re not going to release him, then he has to take a fight with UFC. He is forced into it. I don’t see any other explanation.”
Thoughts on Hunt’s Lawsuit against Dana White, Lesnar and the UFC
“I think that he has a case when it comes to the situation on Brock Lesnar. I know he mentioned that fighters with TUE’s such as myself in the past and Bigfoot Silva, that he’s tried to include that in. That I don’t see as much of a grounds to stand on because it was a legal precedents that the athletic commission and maybe other sporting organizations allow. The NFL, major league baseball allow certain therapeutic exemptions. So I don’t think he has anywhere to stand on that because it wasn’t like he signed a contract that he wasn’t aware of any exemptions that his opponent was on. But as far as Brock, I think he does have a case. I mean, I’m obviously I’m not an attorney, but just me looking at it going, okay, it’s as simple as this: if I’m the TSA and I allow someone to get on the plane and I give them a pass that they don’t have to go through the same security as everybody else, and they do something wrong on that plane, the TSA would be responsible partly, right? I’m just saying, it happens all the time with police officers. You know, they pull someone over, they let him off the hook, the guy does something. If a drunk guy gets pulled over, the officer lets him off the hook, he goes and hits somebody, the officer’s in trouble too because you’ve let somebody slide by the rules, you gave an exemption – which is legal, they can do that, but they also made a call that put their own name on it. And I think by allowing Brock to not enter the testing pool that everybody else has to enter into for four months, giving them a special exemption, they have to take on some kind of responsibility of themselves. Cause just giving someone an exemption, you know, if you say, “that’s fine, I’ll let you have a slide”, well then that means you’re also involved in this, you made a call. So that if anything happens, you’re also responsible too. So I think that the drugs that Brock was on are post-cycle drugs that you take at the end of taking stuff. So I think it’s just, it doesn’t take much of a thought process to see the indication that oh, he took drugs all the way up until as far as he could, and those are the drugs he took afterwards to recover and they caught those. And so it seems to me that Hunt has a ground to stand on, saying, well because you allowed him to forgo the four month period, it allowed him to be on enhancements and he’s saying that he was injured and hurt from it. You know, also too, he took a loss. Maybe doing well, he could have maybe moved up the rankings and that set him back. So I don’t see how he doesn’t have a case.”
Frank’s thoughts on the inconsistencies in the punishments and suspension lengths handed down by USADA
“Yeah, to me it’s, if you have a foreign banned substance in your body, you have a foreign banned substance in your body. I mean look, obviously we’ve gone through and tried to figure out there’s different explanations, but if you don’t have an explanation that works, you know, seems like it should be more consistent with what each guy’s getting – especially someone such as myself. Especially if it’s the first time there’s ever any accusations or anything’s ever come up in my history of fighting with the UFC in 15 years.”
If Lesnar does come back, if Mir would still be interested in having a rubber match with him
“Oh absolutely. But I mean at this point, I just want to go out there and still compete and perform. So fighting Brock, obviously that would be a good money payday cause of his name recognition and the amount of people that would watch and the story behind it. So it makes a lot more sense than some other fights. But at this point, I just want to get back in there and compete.”
If winning the title for a third time is still Frank’s goal when he comes back
“I think that’s a goal for everybody. I don’t know if you’re ever in fighting, that you don’t think that you want to go out there and win a title. At least I haven’t shifted in that mindset yet to where I’m just taking fights just to get paid for fights. I would like to go out there and still be able to perform at a really high level. And you only have so many years of competition and I want to get as many in as I can and have as much to enjoy.”
Why Frank still wants to fight after the career he’s already had and all that he’s accomplished
“Well you know how you have that one practice where you do everything awesome, you just feel great about yourself, you feel like a whiz, everything’s moving. Your mind, your body, everything’s connected, you don’t make a mistake, you just feel like you’re unstoppable. I wanna try to figure out how to always recreate that on demand and be able to do it in the octagon – or in the cage, wherever it may be, during a fight. That’s actually is what keeps motivating me. I’m still looking for me to perform at the highest level, to where I can actually put a tape on afterwards and go, yeah, I did pretty good. I still search for that.”
Frank Mir’s recent epiphany in training
“I’m glad I’m back into training, in fact I actually said that to Robert Drysdale the other day after training with the gi on. I went against the wall and I sat there and told him, hey, you know how I said that the gi doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t help your Jiu Jitsu at all. Like, I was terribly wrong. My Jiu Jitsu right now is really not doing very well”. I feel like now that actually training back with the gi is gonna help me sharpen it up again. I think I was almost kind of a victim of my own success. I was so much head and shoulders above most of the heavyweights in MMA in Jiu Jitsu, that honeslty I probably didn’t pay attention to is as much as I probably should have. And now that I’m just training Jiu Jitsu, when I train Jiu Jitsu, I can see like wow, I’ve actually taken a couple of steps backwards. I can’t believe I’ve been fighting at this level. It’s a good thing that I’m back into realizing it, I can do something about it.