Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir recently spoke with UFC.com about his upcoming fight with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 61. There are some gems in this piece. Check out the highlights down below.
[adinserter block=”1″]On taking a break from fighting: “I was having a bad streak there for a while, so I’ve taken a year off to evaluate what I needed to fix and address, and I feel like I’ve given myself enough time to heal up properly and have a proper off-season and build up my physical activity again,” he said. “I worked on mobility so I can be more efficient and proficient in fighting. And that’s what this fight is. It’s an opportunity to show I’m still able to perform the moves that I know how to do.”
On his losses: “I was being delusional,” he said. “Over the last few years, my brain knew what move I had to do during the fight, almost like a coach in my own head, saying ‘Okay, you need to sit out and then wall walk,’ but the conditioning just wasn’t there. I was constantly training around injuries and scheduling my camps around injuries. The time I had elbow surgery I had to adjust training because it wasn’t healed yet. Same thing with shoulder surgery; my range of motion wasn’t there yet. So instead of taking time off to address these issues so I can throw a punch properly or do a pushup or a downward facing dog position, I would just not do those things at all, and I end up doing patchwork. Well, you can’t do that in a fight, not at this level. How do you get a guy to do a get-up position from guard when he can’t even do three pushups because his shoulder or elbow is hurting? So when I’m in a fight and I try to execute a move and I can’t because I haven’t practiced it in a gym leading up to the fight, that is what leads to the type of performances that I ended up with.”
On how a fighter’s body takes so much punishment: “It is extremely frustrating.” Mir will say “frustrating” several more times during our conversation. “I understand now when people get older and they say they can’t do that anymore. The brain knows what to do but the body is just not willing. At first, I thought I had to retire but after about two months off I thought ‘Maybe not. Maybe if I am able to heal.’ That’s when I started being more diligent with my physical therapy outside of a fight, not waiting until six weeks before a fight to get better. I took the time to proactively heal my body to become an athlete again. And I didn’t give myself a time frame on how long it will take me out of the ring. I was willing to take the time off to work on my shoulder mobility. I wanted to be able to do fifty pushups again. I wanted to be able to jump on a box that pretty much everyone else in the gym can jump on. I wanted to heal my rotator cuff problems, and my elbows. I wanted to take a yoga class with my wife without having to tape up everything like I’m getting ready to fight somebody. And once I got to that level I was feeling really good and thought I could fight again.”
[adinserter block=”2″]On how he feels physically heading into his fight with Antonio Silva: “In sparring I haven’t lost a round,” he said. “In rolling, I would get a fresh guy on me and I’m able to do anything I want to do. I can sprawl properly now when a guy shoots in for a takedown. I can do the athletic stuff I was able to do that made me good at Jiu-Jitsu in the first place, like jumping up for a triangle and diving for a heel hook. Even my stand-up is better because my legs are fresh and not aching. When I fought Nogueira the first time I was bouncing and moving and using angles, and since then it’s not like I forgot how to box, it’s that ‘this hurts,’ so I stopped training it. And a lot of fighters have this ego that tells them if they’re not training a certain move, ‘Well, I’ll just make it happen in the fight.’ You get to the point where you’ll avoid it in the gym but think you’ll make it happen when the lights come on. That’s delusional.”