Nine years ago, Frank Mir won his first UFC heavyweight title with an armbar submission of Tim Sylvia at UFC 48.
Soon after, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that sidelined the fighter for nearly two years, forcing him to vacate his title. The comeback was met with mixed results, dropping two of his next three fights.
The test of time has left many to believe Mir is past his better days and will never compete again for a UFC title. But that’s far from what he believes about himself.
“An outcome of my drive is to actually work back towards a title,” Mir told reporters on a Tuesday media conference call. “I don’t see it as a situation where that’s no longer within my grasp.”
The training Mir does nowadays and the lifestyle he lives, he said, tells him that he doesn’t have to concede to participating in fights solely for entertainment value. There’s more in the tank for the 34-year-old veteran of the sport.
“That’s just not where I’m at in my life,” Mir said when addressing being relegated to fights without title implications.
At UFC 164, Mir will take on a fellow former UFC champ in Josh Barnett. A veteran of 16 years in the fight business, Barnett has seen a lot of fighters like Mir who have a taste for submissions. That being said, Mir explained that he doesn’t think Barnett is one to fall for a submission on the first attempt because he obviously has an extensive amount of experience.
But that won’t stop the former heavyweight champ from trying to repeat what he did to Sylvia back on that June evening in 2004. UFC 164 will, perhaps, be another submission win for Mir.
“I think you have to have a respect and a knowledge of what your opponent is capable of, but at the same time you can’t let it nullify your offense,” Mir said. “You can’t sit there and second guess yourself and go, ‘Well, I’m not going to go for this because he’ll obviously block it.’ I think that’s when sometimes respect goes into apprehension and it causes you to hesitate. I think that [I] just fight the fight, prepare to know that I’m probably going to have to link four, five, six different attempts together. Obviously, I don’t see Josh falling victim to the first submission attempt that I just jump on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not going to attempt it anyways.”