One-on-one with Frank Mir

Frank Mir was supposed to face Cain Velasquez in a matchup of former UFC heavyweight champions at UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas, but he got the opportunity to fight UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC 146 when Alistair Overeem tested positive for elevated testosterone levels and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Mir took a timeout from his training to talk about his game plan for dos Santos, Overeem’s suspension and his future plans.

Check out what Mir had to say:

You went from having a big fight at UFC 146 to having an extremely big fight and a shot at the UFC heavyweight title. How did that come about?
“I was very excited when the opportunity first came about to fight for the title. It was a little dampened by the fact that nothing was confirmed until weeks later.”

What were the changes you had to make in camp getting ready for Junior dos Santos as opposed to Cain Velasquez?
“My opponent was not ever going to try to get the fight to the ground like with Cain, who would strike or go to the ground. We’re going to a fighter who primarily wants to box and strike and if we go to the ground, he’ll be trying to escape as quickly as possible.”

Do you know anything about Junior’s ground game? Have you seen any footage of him doing jiu-jitsu?
“The only footage I saw was on YouTube from five years ago and it was his only loss. It was like a two-minute fight in Brazil where he got armbarred.”

Are you surprised nobody in the UFC has been able to get Junior to the ground and really test him there?
“It has (surprised me), especially the Shane Carwin fight. You can go back and look at some of my comments last year. I was very confident. Obviously Shane Carwin was not the boxer that dos Santos was, but I thought he’d be able to push him against the cage and get him down on the ground. And he was extremely unsuccessful and had a very hard time and got caught with a good right.”

Do you have to get dos Santos to the ground or can you stand up with him?
“I’m going to go ahead and strike with him, probably more than Carwin wanted to and some of these other guys and try to lull him into lowering his striking defense. If I get him into a rhythm where it’s a boxing match, it will be easier to shoot or take him down. If you are shotting right of fthe bat and are grabbing a leg and that person’s waiting for it, it’s like any combat tactic. It’s very easy to stop what you are expecting.”

What do you think about Alistair Overeem testing positive for the elevated testosterone levels? It happens every once in a while. Is that very prevelant in MMA?
“I don’t think so. If it was prevelant, then when they randomly tested all six heavyweights on the card more than one of them would have an issue with the test if it was something rampant as an issue. All of us were caught off guard, but everyone was honest. There was a test right in front of you. There was no time to go home and prepare. It wasn’t like there was two weeks and a guy can try toclean out his system or whatever they do to clean out for the drug test. Not with us. We had a 15-minute notification. So had it been a bigger issue three, four or all six would have had an issue with the test. This was only one guy. From what I understand, he (Overeem) had a plausible explanation from a doctor, who didn’t really no what he was doing when dealing with athletes that have to be tested. I wasn’t there. I’m only going on hearsay. All I heard was the doctor gave him some medication for inflammatories that caused the test to mark a positive result.”

Whenever somebody test positive they always have some kind of excuse. Shouldn’t all fighters know what they are taking and what they are putting into their bodies at this point in time?
“I think you do. That’s why 99 percent of the guys are clean and have no problems with tests. If you look at how many fighters fight at each event and how many come up positive, it’s a small percentage. It’s the same thing if a guy is not hydrated properly. It’s like, ‘Hey man, you didn’t know what you were supposed to do? I screwed up. I made a mistake.’ I would have to say it’s such a small percentage I would count it as human error. That would be stupid to possibly and willingly go in and do something illegal knowing that, especially Overeem. I can’t imagine that he purposely did anything wrong. The guy had two tests that he knew he had to take. I mean, I knew he had to take them. You know you are going to be randomly drug tested at any moment. Why would you take a chance and ruin your chance at the title. That makes no sense.”

You had a successful run as the WEC’s color commenator for its broadcasts. Do you see yourself returning to color commentary and announcing when you are done fighting?
“That is one of my passions in life. I very much enjoy it. Fighting in front of big crowds is a very limited time. There’s only so many times I can do that. Father Time catches up to everybody, but with commentating I’ll be able to do that for a while.”

Flattr this!