Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is on the comeback trail after failing to take the title belt from Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 last May. Mir was handily defeated by dos Santos in his attempt to become a three-time UFC champion and was forced to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch once again.
Mir has always been one of the more intelligent individuals in the sport when it comes to analyzing the flaws in his game and tightening up his shortcoming on his path towards becoming a better fighter. At a Xyience press conference at the UFC Fan Expo over the UFC 148 weekend, Mir was asked about his fight with dos Santos and what went wrong. In typical Mir fashion, the 33-year-old gave credit to his opponent as well as a rational breakdown of both his own and dos Santos’ performances in the fight. He makes some great points; read them below.
“I really underestimated footwork and speed. A lot of the fights I’ve had with heavyweights – a lot of it comes down to strength and power. Two guys standing in front of each other and, you know, come in full force. And even technique, jiu-jitsu wise I’m used to guys standing there and going attack for attack. I go for your arm, switch, reverse, move, drag. The whole being elusive and almost Machida-style of moving around, I wasn’t prepared for that mentally and it became very frustrating. I would be chasing the guy around and every time I try to attack he’s not there. And then all I get for my effort is a fist to the face.”
“I realized obviously afterwards it sucks that you lost but I realize (expletive), that works well. Every time I move forward he would just step away from me and not be there. It wasn’t like he did anything super complex, just move out of the way, if we’re going to exchange make sure he had the momentum coming forward. He didn’t throw any punches that no one had ever seen before, it wasn’t a crazy Jon Jones spinning back elbow or anything it was pretty basic combinations and it was a great formula. So obviously I look and see what I’m able to emulate from it.”
Mir was also asked about who he would be interested in taking on next, and like most fighters of his stature and name recognition, Mir stated he wants to fight an established name in the sport, not an up-and-coming heavyweight looking to name a name for themselves at his expense.
“Right now there’s a lot of great heavyweights out there but I’ve kind of got to the position where I have a decent name in the sport. I don’t want to be…a stepping-stone to someone where no one knows who they are and where they fight me they have everything to gain and I gain nothing through a victory. So just trying to fight name fighters. I know ‘Bigfoot’ Silva would be an awesome opportunity just cause he’s somebody who’s coming off a loss too on the same card and with a win over Fedor (Emelianenko). He’s somebody that I don’t think it would be a stepping stone for him, we’re both kind of in the same mix in title contention.”
“Obviously everyone wants to get back in there, especially after a loss, you want to erase that. You’re only as good as your last event and if your last event is getting punched in the face it’s kind of a miserable person. Right now I’m just focusing on trying to get back in there and obviously trying to improve. I came up short the last time, so you break it down you look at it and what you need to work on.”
A fight between Mir and Antonio Silva would be very interesting. The size and strength of Silva would pose a lot of threats to Mir. Both men have been prone to the knockout throughout their career while neither has ever been submitted. With both Mir and Silva recently suffering TKO defeats on the UFC 146 fight card, a Mir vs. Silva match up would make a lot of sense considering the current landscape of the UFC heavyweight division.