Frank Mir Will Be Angry If Passed Up For Title Shot In Overeem's Absence
By Lorenzo Luciano:
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir is set to fight another former UFC Heavyweight Champion in Cain Velasquez at UFC 146 on May 26th, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Main Card at this event was set to be made up of all heavyweight fights for the first time in UFC history.
Then the drug results of main event contender Alistair Overeem were made public, at this point the Main Card is certainly in jeopardy of having to be scrambled. Depending on who will be the replacement for Overeem if he is not allowed to fight, some of the heavyweights on the main card might have to be moved around.
However, in his first public statement since the reported drug results, Overeem insists that he is ready and will fight at UFC 146. That said there are still the drug results that have to be dealt with on April 24th in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Many heavyweights have come forward ready and willing to fight Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title, including Frank Mir. As he states on Spike TV’s “MMA Uncensored Live” he is still preparing to the battle with Velasquez, but would jump at a chance to take on JDS for the heavyweight title.
“No, as of right now, I’m still training for Cain. Obviously, I’m like everybody else. I see that, in the background, there’s a possibility Overeem’s not going to be able to make the fight on the 26th, and if that’s the case, I wanna make sure I’m in a position where I can jump in.”
When asked about the drug results, Mir alluded to the fact that Overeem should be given a chance to speak out and defend himself. He did mention that all were tested on the same day and that Overrem had some complications with his test.
“I’m very much on the point of ‘innocent, until proven guilty.’ If he has a hearing and he comes in and speaks, I wanna hear what he has to say and what’s going on. All six of us were tested on that day, that were on that stage, and he had some complications with his test, obviously. Give the man a chance to speak about it.”
Mir has 16 wins and 5 losses in his mixed martial arts career, he is considered one of the best Jiu-Jitsu heavyweight fighters in the game. On June 19th, 2004, Mir faced Tim Silvia for the heavyweight title; the fight was stopped 50 seconds into the fight with Silvia’s arm visibly broken.
Speaking on the difference between preparing for diverse styled fighters, Mir alluded to the fact that it would be easier to prepare for a stand up fight against a striker than to prepare for a wrestling type fighter such as Velasquez. Former champion Cain Velasquez comes from an excellent wrestling pedigree having wrested in the NCAA Division 1.
“Well, you know, it’s a little bit of an adjustment, but I’d rather go in that direction than the other way. Just for the reason being the kind of conditioning it takes. Wrestling in the gym as much as I am with the kind of guys that are more wrestling oriented, collegiate wrestlers, that conditioning is just extremely anaerobic and extraordinarily tough to train for. Anybody who trains realizes that anybody can spar three, four, five, six rounds, if it’s just striking with no takedowns. But maybe if you start taking people down and fighting on the ground and we wrestle to get back up, that’s when it’s extremely fatiguing. so, going from a grappler to have to prepare for a striker, I feel it’s easier than the other way around.”
Many names have been mentioned to replace Overeem; if he is in fact he is not allowed to fight. One of the more notable ones is Mark Hunt, who has garnered a strong following on giving the striker a chance to fight the current champion JDS who is an excellent striker himself, certainly an entertaining battle if it should happen.
Mir, however feels like he deserves the shot, believes he has the longest winning streak and the most credentials. It is hard to argue with Mir, fans most often want to see strikers go at it, but Mir has some tremendous skill to bring to the table against JDS. It might not be a complete stand up brawl, but would test JDS in many other ways. If Mir is able to take JDS down, it could make for some very interesting maneuvers and a very interesting fight. We might actually get to see what JDS is like on the ground.
“I feel that I have the most credentials, going into it. I think I have the longest winning streak of the heavyweights that were already posted on that card to fight. As far as what the rankings are, I feel I have the most credentials going in, and I’m motivated to do so. It was funny, a couple of months ago, when I was training for this, I had been training for a five-round fight to begin with. Reason being that Cain Velasquez is a cardio freak, and if something were to happen with the title shot, I wouldn’t want it to be something where I had to turn it down because I wasn’t prepared for it. I mean, obviously I’d feel a little slighted (if someone else were picked to fight dos Santos). But, both those guys (Hunt and Velasquez) are great fighters. I would never be mad at them for taking advantage of the situation. Would I be angry? Of course. I wouldn’t wanna be at my house on the night that’s announced. I would not be a happy individual. I would probably just stay away from my house for a couple of days.”
For now all fighters on the May 26th card can do is continue training and preparing for all possible outcomes. On April 24th Overeem will sit in front of NSAC and we will find out if he will be allowed to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship against JDS. If the outcome is not in Overeem’s favor, the UFC will have some scrambling to do, which I am sure they are preparing for at this moment.
Does Frank Mir have a right to expect the title shot? Should he be upset if he doesn’t get it?