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frank mir interview
Ryan Bennett: Frank as you prepare for UFC 40, tell me what you are training for exactly and are you training any differently than UFC 38?
Frank Mir: Getting myself ready to go 100%, no execuses! Not justifying that anything is alright. I can't have any excuses for training. There are no excuses to not train properly. I will be ready for this fight.
Ryan: So are you saying training was a factor in your last fight?
Frank: Basically that. I kind of feel like I was a victim of my own success. I felt very comfortable that I can take people out extremely quick. Then I didn't have a back up plan, so when Plan A failed, I didn't have a Plan B. That's what you saw against Ian. When I didn't get him to submit I had no back up plan. My opponent did an awesome job of nullifying it and avoiding it, and I had nothing left to fall back on.
Ryan: What was the biggest thing that surprised you about Ian Freeman?
Frank: To be honest there wasn't anything that surprised me about him. He came out basically like I thought he would. He came out hard and he wanted to win the match. His Jiu-Jitsu was much better that I expected as far as defending it, and his tenacity was very much an eye opener. It defintely has now changed my style as far as fighting goes. You have to be ready to go, every second in this game. You can't have the ability to just try and fight somebody off of you. You have to have authority in the ring. If you don't have authority in the ring, then you have no presence. That's what I think I lacked before, I didn't have a way to say "if you want in on me I will hurt you bad for it." So now you have to come up with a strategy to close the distance and coming through me. Before I didn't have power shots, so I learned that in the loss.
Ryan: So now do you feel you have those power shots?
Frank: Yea, before I was so concerend about form, that it did take some power away from me. Know I can just throw some big bombs and not worry about how it looks, but how it feels when it connects. As long as it makes contact and does damage, that is what I'm more concerend about. I just want to hit guys as hard as possible now and make every shot count. Before I was thinking...was that a picture perfect jab, was the kick textbook, etc. Who cares what it looks like. If it didn't drop my opponent obviously it wasn't affective. Bottom line if it doesn't breaks something or mame you it's not worth coming out.
Ryan: I remember watching that fight and there was a couple of times I thought you had him in trouble and he go out. Did you stay with the submissions to long against Ian?
Frank: Basically it comes back to the training. You can see I was giving him positions to do things, but you can also see I wasn't polished with the submissions. The way I was holding the achillies tendon, I was using the upper part of my arm, to finish on the heel hook, instead of using the lower part of my arm. Just small little factors that might not matter in a room where a guys' not heavily motivated to finish you, but in a ring where a guy has the hopes of an entire country on his shoulders, there's no room for error. In the gym I roll with everybody and tap everybody. It gets to the point where that's good enough. Then that's where my excuses come in. Well that works good enough, my form isn't important, or why do have to spend so much time doing road work, when all my fights go a minute. I can't listen to the hype now, I have to do everything correctly to beat the best guys in the world.
Ryan: So here's my question. Does this loss make you better, or do you wish you never had a loss in your career?
Frank: Actually I've thought a lot about that. For the first week or two you think that I wish I could go back in time and change my performance, but now I don't want to change it. Of course, I have to fix it so I can go back and get revenge, but as far as what happens, now it's probably one of the best things that could happen to me. I didn't have wisdom in the fight game. I had knowledge in the fight game, but now I have wisdom. My trainers warned me of what could happen, and I didn't listen. I had to learn the hard way with stiches and a couple of black eyes. Talent means a lot, but it doesn't compensate for hard training.
Ryan: You haven't had a lot of time to develop strategy for Vladimir Matyushenko, but is there something you really want to show in this fight, that you weren't able to showcase the last fight?
Frank: Not really. It's not so much my opponent that I'm looking at as much as it's myself. I'm battling myself. Basically I think if I come in 100% there isn't anyone in the world that can beat me. I really feel that. If I come in less than 100% then it's like...I have to pull a trick out of the bag to win. When I walk in that ring now I have to know that I've prepared myself more accordingly and that my training is most of the battle. The fight showcases how hard I've trained. If I do that, then let things lye where they fall. Then I won't have anything to be ashamed of. Then I wil have nothijng to be ashamed of. If you can't learn from mistakes then your in the wrong business.
Ryan: If you defeat Vladdy do you want a rematch with Ian Freeman?
Frank: Oh defintely! I can't be walking around with that. It's not anything personal to Ian. He is walking around with something that I don't have and that's a win over me. That's fine for right now, but if I have to beat him in his backyard at his house, then I will have to do that...(laughs). It's a competitve thing. Hopefully we will cross trails again soon. That's something I want very, very badly. I want to fight Ian Freeman again with a passion. Hopefully the way the UFC works, I will get a rematch somewhere down the road.
Ryan: As far as your future, do you see it being with the UFC?
Frank: Oh yea. I love the UFC. I'm still a kid in the fight game. I'm always learning as things progress. from inside the ring to outside the ring. Everything I'm looking for, the UFC has to fulfil my goals.
Ryan: I heard you have taken a ban toward the media. Tell me why?
Frank: It's nothing personal. After the loss, I don't jump on the internet anymore, I don't read the newspapers, I don't study what's going on in the mma world. I let my family read it but for me now, I don't want to appreciate my success at this young stage of my career. I started doing that before the Freeman fight and I won't do it again. As all athletes say, you can't read your own press clippings, so I won't do it again.
Ryan: Alright Frank, as always thank you and good luck at UFC 40.
Frank: Thanks Ryan, always good to talk to you.