Frank Mir is a man who has had his past life taken from him by tragedy. He had to give up his belt and was faced with a long road back to his title.
From encountering everything from doctors who said he would never fight again, the tremendous amount of rehab he had to face and overcome, clawing his way back to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division, to now facing a genetic freak who is at the last step to full redemption.
In the days leading up to his encounter with Brock Lesnar, Mir speaks on the match from a more strategic standpoint.
Mir is counting on one of two things leading into his fight; that he gets rushed near the beginning of the fight like he did last time, or he sees the more conservative approach from Lesnar, like he took with Randy Couture.
“If Brock really comes out and tries to abandon the [training], comes running at me heads over heels and just tries to bullrush me over, I honestly think that’s his best chance,” said Mir in a recent interview on UFC.com.
However, Mir does not have as much faith in Brock’s cardio and muscle endurance as he has in his explosive power.
“I don’t think he’s physically capable of going 5 rounds of hard fighting just because of his stature,”explained Mir.
Adding, “Could he go 3 rounds, or 5 rounds if I fight like Heath and let him dominate me and keep me in great position, well yeah.
“If he told me he was going to stand with me, then yeah, I would stand toe to toe with him and swing. Because I feel I have great head movement. He has no head movement.” He continues, “But all of the sudden he throws a punch, changes levels and shoots on me, that’s gonna be difficult. So that’s why I don’t wanna stand in front of him. No so much for his punches, but his shots.”
Mir seems to be on the right track. So what does he envision happening on July 11th? Frank goes on to lay out how he’s going to win this fight.
“But if I throw 3 or 4 punches and I slide off at an angle, throw another punch, and he shoots, and I’m never where I’m at, that’s going to be very difficult [for Lesnar],” said Mir.
As if Mir’s striking coach Ken Hahn was in his ear, we see how much influence he has on Frank and how energized he has Frank coming into this fight. It seems Frank has just as much confidence in his striking, if not more, than he did for the Nogueira fight.
Mir continues about, what he feels is his biggest asset for this fight, his footwork. “I think now we really see in MMA how much footwork is really a prevailing defense, and offense. It’s more important than slipping or checking punches because footwork helps eliminate shots, it helps eliminate getting kicked and punched in the head. You see some of the greatest fighters in the world right now, and one thing I can point out that they all have, is great footwork.”
We can expect to see Mir bouncing around and looking like a more active version than we saw in his last fight with Big Nog as it seems he is gaining confidence in his striking with every pad session. He has been on the underside of Brock before and we should see him looking to desperately avoid being put there again.
This is the opportunity of Franks life right now as a win on July 11th, in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, would solidify his Champion status and give him that redemption he is so furiously seeking.