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UFC 46 Pre Fight Interview w/ Frank Mir
*************.com Interview with Frank Mir
By Chris Colderley ©
After bursting onto the UFC scene with two lightening quick submission victories, Frank Mir ran into Ian Freeman at the UFC 38. He was soundly defeated in that fight, but returned to UFC 41 with a renewed outlook. He dispatched of Tank Abbott in less than a minute. In his last fight, he won a DQ victory, after Wes Sims stomped him several times in the head and face. On Saturday, Mir will face Wes Sims in a rematch for what will be most definitely a title shot.
*************.com caught up with Frank Mir to get his thoughts about the fight and his future in the UFC.
*************.com: Youíre preparing for your fight at UFC 46. Howís the preparation going?
Frank Mir: Iím good. Every fight, itís a lot of trial and error Ė finding out what helps to get me in shape and what doesnít. Iíve really found out that my favorite thing to do to get in shape now is sparring. So Iíve done a lot of sparring to prepare for fights now.
*************.com: And what are you working on specifically? Obviously your submissions are excellent. Are you working much on your striking?
Frank Mir: Oh yeah. No Iíve always felt very comfortable with my striking most of the time. All my opponents, it seems like grappling is where theyíre weakest, so it means that I always go for their weakness. Itís a bit like my next opponent. I feel that he is stronger at grappling than he is at stand-up, so I might try to do what I can to keep the fight on its feet even though I still feel I am superior to him as a ground fighter. But, you know, if he has any opportunity to win the fight it would be possibly on the ground. That would pretty much be his only chance.
*************.com: This is a rematch of the previous fight in which he was disqualified for stomping. Is there any bad blood thatís going to carry into this fight?
Frank Mir: NoÖ I mean I have my feelings about how that fight went about, but Iíve always been a very unemotional fighter. Thatís my style. I donít like to get excited or get myself worked up. I think people who are too emotional and excited tend to make mistakes. Iíve always tried to be very technical, and thatís pretty much my angle on the fighting game. Whatever personal feelings I have for anybody I fight, the minute I walk in the cage itís just another fight Ė this is my opponent. You know you donít bring anything personal in it because it tends to cloud your judgment.
*************.com: Do you think that maybe Sims will make that mistake Ė be too emotional in the rematch?
Frank Mir: Oh yeah. Sims is an emotional fighter, and he has to be. If you look at Sims as a fighter, he has to get worked up to be able to be competitive at all. Inside the Octagon, heís not someone who can fight calm and collected because his technique is very lacking in that department. He has to make up for it with aggression. Ö He has to take the chance and either make a mistake and get caught because he canít sit and play the cat and mouse game with me so heís just going to have to try to fight at a high pace and just try to beat me Ė you know, a battle of attritionójust coming after me. Hopefully I canít miss his shots and he can just push the pace Ė you know, very aggressive. Thatís just what he has to do. Is that a good approach to fighting? No, I donít think so, but it is pretty much the chance he will have.
*************.com: With this fight, one of the things Ė I donít know if this is a downfall or an upside Ė but you have enjoyed a lot of success in a very short amount of time. How does that affect your approach to fighting? When you are preparing for a fight, when you are going into the fight, do you still have doubts about your capability or do you still have reservations about what you want to do in the ring?
Frank Mir: Oh, no, not at all. My training now pretty much mimics exactly how Ė I feel the same way about my training now when I show up at the gym as I do about walking into a fight: how difficult it is, it makes me a little nervous, I know that itís going to be painful, and itís not a pleasant experience to walk into the gym for me to train. Even though I havenít had so many minutes in the cage in the line of fire, I have had enough time and I know what it feels like. Itís mimicked perfectly outside in my training regimen.
The only thing thatís sometimes happened in the past, through success, made it to where I felt, you know, at 20 to 23 years old, ďBugger me, I didnít have to trainĒ. I thought, ď****, I can beat these guys with my eyes closed. What do I need to train for?Ē Thatís where my only loss came from, because I wouldnít show up in the gym. I thought I was better than any other fighter and didnít need to do what every other fighter did. I learned my lesson on the first outing in that case. It wasnít like I had any success at not training, so I Ö take care of it now at the gym.
*************.com: Does your reputation for quick submissions actually hurt you a little bit in terms of your reputation as a fighter? A lot of people think you canít strike.
Frank Mir: Yeah. You know, I donít know where that belief came from except that, the fights are so short, no one really knows what I can do. They just know how the fight ended. Even if it is a submission they just assume, ďWell, thatís what he knows how to do,Ē and when the fights consecutively and consistently end up in submissions people start making assumptions. Actually I feel Iím in a good situation because when people have to train for me, like how much video they can really see, and, in the end, each fight shows how much Iím improving and they donít know, and say, ďLetís see what his stand-up looks like. Letís go to the gym and watch him spar because no oneís gone in that area. Letís watch his wrestling, no-oneís really wrestled with him, no oneís really been shooting any shots on him.Ē
Basically all the fights are so short and so fast no one even really knows what my jiu-jitsu looks like. They just see a glimpse of a guy that gets caught on the first two or three attempts I have and the fight is over with. So, I think that it is harder for my opponents than it is for me.
*************.com: Most jiu-jitsu fighters, especially at your high level of competition, usually have a more cautious, reserved game plan? What is it in your strategy (or about your training) that you employ such quick submissions?
Frank Mir: Well, during my training I always look more to finish a fight. That probably came from my history in stand-up with my father in the Kenpo Karate school. I had always done more what looked like kickboxing than ground. I didnít actually do ground until I was 19 or 20 years old. I didnít know what jiu-jitsu looked like before I even walked into a gym. I went through that strategy when I came to stand-up and said ďOK, why sit here and exchange 15 shots and extend the fight? I had known that the longer the fight lasts, the chances are anybody can get caught or hurt. So as soon as an opponent would make a mistake, and do something that could decisively cause damage, such that the fight starts to lean in your favor - not necessarily look to finish the fight, because sometimes that can make you overextend yourself, but definitely every moment I can make my opponent pay for a mistake or a mis-step. So I pretty much transfer that into my jiu-jitsu and say, ďOK, the minute you make a mistake Iím going to grab something and try to cause damage, so if I break your arm, you canít use it anymore.Ē
ÖIf I can damage your body, then Iím scoring points, and thereís snowball effect: the more damage I incur on you and the less damage you are able to do to me and the chances of me winning greatly increase.
*************.com: I read a few previews on this fight, and a couple of people have predicted that you will have to break something to win.
Frank Mir: Yes.
*************.com: Do you think that Sims wonít tap out?
Frank Mir: Well, he might not tap. I mean, thatís a choice he has to makeÖYou know if it snaps or cracks, thatís just on him ... I have no problems about doing it. He wonít be the first guyís arm that I have broken, and it probably wonít be the last. So, I mean, thatís his choice and it should be mine whether he taps or he screams.
*************.com: Whatís next for you? Obviously there have been rumors that the winner of this fight will lead to the championship. I know you donít like to look down the road, but if you look down the road what do you see as far as the heavyweight division for Frank Mir?
Frank Mir: I mean, definitely a title shot. I feel that after this fight my next fight will probably be with either Andre Orlovski or Tim Sylvia. I see those two Ė one or the other, or probably both back to back Ė are in the future for me. I think Andre Orlovski has put himself in a really good position and Tim Sylvia is obviously on top. I feel that that is like the high water of US heavyweights right now. So it might be just scoring victory after victory is my way of trying to stay in that same element so that you know when the time comes and the situation is right they can point to me and say, ďtitle shot time.Ē And, Iíve done everything on my part to justify that.
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Very good interview. Frank Mir is a man of intelligence. He thinks things through. I like the way he views how he should approach a fight and how he goes about doing it.
its also nice to know that i'm not the only one that gets nervous going to train. it, at times, can be worse than the competition.
again, awesome interview! good job to boxing insider! i've been rootin for mir since the begining and i aint stoppin now. hope he wins jan. 31.
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