UFC heavyweight Frank Mir’s stand-up is solid but it’s nowhere near his grappling in terms of overall ability. The former champion has submitted a number of high-level opponents during his run in the Octagon including a gruesome (but memorable) finish of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and is widely considered one of the best BJJers in the division.
While Mir’s accomplishments are impressive, Josh Barnett is also well-versed in the art of tapping adversaries out and expects to show he’s not only on Mir’s level when they collide at UFC 164 but actually better.
“I think he’s very good (on the ground). He doesn’t have a very ‘jiu-jitsuesque’ style of grappling, but he’s a big dude, explosive and I believe he wrestled high school. So when it comes to grappling, there’s not a whole lot that he hasn’t seen before, but when it comes to application and putting things together, I don’t think he’s going to be able to find training partners that grapple the way I do,” said Barnett in an interview with MMA’s Great Debate Radio Show. “If it does go to the ground, I can shut down his offense and make him pay for being underneath.”
The seasoned veteran’s comments were captured by MMAWeekly.
In addition to proving he has what it takes on the mat, Barnett also wants to prove he deserves to be in the discussion for a title-contendership by beating one of the UFC’s staples.
“For quite some time after PRIDE folded, anyone who was in the UFC got ranked higher than me and a lot of Frank’s relevancy was based on being in the UFC,” explained Barnett. “I want to see how much potential there really is there by fighting him and, honestly, I don’t really care too much about rankings, but you see it and you think ‘this idiot thinks that?’ It gives you that much more motivation when you are getting your workout done.”
The 32-6 Barnett has won nine of his last tent tilts and has 27 stoppages to his credit. Comparably, Mir holds a career mark of 16-7 but is looking to rebound from back-to-back defeats after consecutive triumphs over Nogueira, Mirko Filipovic, and Roy Nelson. Fans can catch their clash in the co-headlining spot of the August 31 event.