Frank Mir: Dos Santos Searching for Confidence After His Coach Ended Up in Surgery

May 11, 2012
30 Comments

A victorious Frank Mir at UFC 81Every fighter faces diversity and loss at some point in their careers.

As UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes once said, “If you’re not losing, you’re not fighting the right people.”

Frank Mir has had his share of losses, maybe none bigger than the nearly two years of his career that he lost following a devastating motorcycle accident in 2004.

Still, Mir has haunted the UFC heavyweight division longer than any current fighter on the roster, and remains a top five competitor consistently on the hunt for another title shot.

Those credentials also open him up for criticism because Mir has lost a few fights over the last several years, including bouts with Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.

When UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos looks at Mir’s track record, he thinks he sees a common theme: when Mir gets in trouble, he folds.

As honest as a fighter as you’ll ever talk to about his own career, Mir can be truthful when reacting to the criticism received from his UFC 146 opponent. But does dos Santos have a point?

“I guess I can see where he’s looking at it. He was saying in the fights where I was in trouble, it’s hard to come back from, but I would point out in the Brock (Lesnar) fight I was under pressure the whole time in the first round, and I didn’t throw the towel in. In fact, in the second round, I came swinging and trying even more aggressively to take Lesnar out,” Mir said during a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio.

“So I don’t know if I 100-percent agree with it.”

The anomaly, as dos Santos pointed out recently, was Mir’s fight against his good friend and coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 141 last December in Toronto.

Mir was rocked by a series of strikes from the Brazilian and dropped to the mat. Just when it looked like the fight might be over, Mir scrambled and managed to catch Nogueira in a submission, something a lot of people felt might never happen to the revered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert.

Not only did Mir catch him in a submission, but he finished it rather emphatically, breaking the Brazilian’s arm to win the fight. He became the first person ever to submit Big Nog.

So what Mir sees from dos Santos’ criticism of him is really an air of false bravado from the champion, and maybe a little psychological confidence building because what’s really happening on the inside is a little bit of fear.

Like a duck on the water, dos Santos looks calm and composed, but underneath his legs are churning a million miles an hour just trying to stay on the surface.

“I think maybe that’s just an assessment, and maybe it also draws confidence on his part. You’ve got to realize, the guy just watched me break his coach’s arm after he thought he had me out,” Mir stated.

“That’s kind of a scary proposition for him because in his mind it’s ‘okay, so if I hit him and knock him down, can I jump and grab this guy?’ Nogueira, who has been doing (jiu-jitsu) longer than him and more proficient at it had him out and went to slap on a choke, and he still reversed my coach and swept him and got on top, and put him into a surgical room shortly after. Sometimes, I think you say things to also garner confidence.”

Did Mir figure out exactly what dos Santos was truly thinking or is the champion correct about the man he’s about to face at UFC 146?

May 26 in Las Vegas will tell the tale in this heavyweight title showdown.


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  • smill0313

    This is gonna be a good fight but I have to go with jds by ko in the 2nd. I like frank but he wasn’t gonna beat velasquez, and he isn’t going to beat junior either.

  • TandmWarElephant

    LOL Mir does have a point! man I see this fight heavily in favor for Mir but I do have to agree if it goes to the mat Dos Santos will be in trouble… but the only problem with that is Mir isn’t going to take him down -.- he is gonna be the dumb confident Mir that he always is and try to stand and bang with him… I love both these fighters, both my favorite heavyweights but Mir ALWAYS comes out with bad game plans!!!!! ha

    • TandmWarElephant

      To avoid a HUGE amount of flaming I meant to say that the fight is heavily in favor for Dos Santos!!! ha

  • jonnypatrick

    I actually think Mir has a better chance to beat JDS than he did Cain. I think JDS has more power in his hands than Cain but not the wrestling background. I’ve said to all my buddies that if Mir is ever gone to get the belt back, this is his chance. Will he be able to defend it… I don’t know

  • jonnypatrick

    going to get…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066818422 juliushodges

    Mir is very solid fighter but I think he has struggled with the better strinking HW’s (Shane Carwin)demolished Mir and JDS destroyed Carwin. I think Mir can win this fight on the ground but his arrogance will hurt hime just like TWElephant above said he will stand and bang… I know he beat Big Nog but if you watch that fight Big Nog dropped Mir and should’ve pounded him out but got dumb and tried to submit him. I think Nog was going to win that fight if he can drop Mir you know JDS will Knock him out in the 2nd or 3rd round

  • Brian

    JDS will rock Mir just like Nog did. Only difference is that JDS won’t ruin his chance by taking Mir to the ground. He’ll see Mir hurt, and keep it standing breaking Mir’s jaw. KO by JDS in round 1.

    • adam1848

      i don’t know about the broken jaw, but i’ll second the R1 KO. not even going to be a competetive fight.

  • jonnypatrick

    I agree with you guy’s about Mir 100% on his arrogance, but he wants the belt back bad. He has the potential to beat JDS with the right game plan, and as I said before this is his only shot at getting the belt back. I think Mir plays it safe and might actually be the stronger fighter in this fight and will drag JDS to the mat and tap him out.

  • daviduppercut

    why has everyone come to the conclusion that Junior Dos Santos is not good on the ground?! His jiu jitsu coach is nogueira for gods sake! who cares if it goes to the ground, do you guys honestly think he’s a white belt in jiu jitsu or something? Mir has like 20% chance of winning and that is if Junior makes an error like trying to submit mir, other than that, another knock out win for jds!

    • LAW OF FIST

      i agree. i imagine Dos Santos has a solid ground ground game.

    • maddawgmar

      His Jitz is solid… But unfortunately, he is facing the best BJJ HW of all time. Plus Mir submitted JDS’s Jitz coach. On the ground, whether on top or bottom, JDS will get tapped mark my words. The only way for JDS to win is stand up, and the only way Mir wins is on the ground or he catchs him with a flash KO shot. If it goes to decision, JDS will win.

    • RubeKegal

      Because his ground game isn’t good. If Mir gets this to the ground, it’s going to be a bad night for JDS. In the Carwin fight, JDS took a shot late in one of the rounds and Carwin had a halfass guillotine and JDS spazzed out and Carwin got mount with the guillotine only for time in the round to expire. If there were 10 more seconds in the round, Carwin could have won.

      When Gonzaga took him down, he frantically got back up….he wanted no part of Gonzaga’s ground game.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mVv43TuwAk
      Joaquim Ferrara? This guy is no Mir by any means.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think JDS will win as he will keep it from ground, but I think his ground game sucks.

  • joan

    Junior dos Santos have a brown or black belt in brazilian jiujitsu and we never got to see it in action. I’m sure he isnt going to show it here.

    • bryanadams

      Yea but he got that belt from a nogueria, remember? And Chael says “that’s like saying I got a free toy with my happy meal.”. Haha, WAR sonnen!

  • Jay32

    This is typical of MIR to talk highly of himself. It almost seems, he has been spending some time with Chael Sonnen.

    Lets be realistic here. MIR has a chance to win, but you have to say that in general. Problem is, the ONLY way he can win is on the ground. MIR is not a wrestler by any means, so how is he going to get the fight on the ground? JDS holds far better cardio and wrestling ability than MIR. Longer the fight goes, it would only benefit JDS. With that being said, MIR has to put himself in positions he might get caught by pushing the pace. JDS is a world class boxer. His technique is crisp and clean. Complimented by his speed and power. NOG had MIR looking like a 1st day chump at boxing class in their last meeting. MIR is outclassed and should have reconsidered taking this fight. JDS by KO first round..

    OH this reminds me of Demian Mia vs Anderson Silva… Except JDS is a far better and more aggressive fighter.

    • maddawgmar

      I beg to differ, Mir is a wrestler. I went to high school with him, I was a couple of years behind him, but his senior year he won the state title in wrestling. Is he College caliber no but he does have a wrestlers background.

      • Lesnardo

        Another dumb comment from you. High school wrestling = No good for MMA. Mir = High school wrestling.

        “I slept with Mir and he was strong.”

  • fightfankevin

    JDS has a point but Mir was rocked pretty well in a few fights and came back like the last fight with Nog, i think Mir has a better chance than he is being given but if i were a betting man, id still take JDS.

  • matty

    Mir has very little chance of winning this fight. JDS will beat Mir in a stand up only fight. Mir will not take him down and obviously JDS will not take Mir down. So we will have a 1st round KO just like Cain.(who should of got this fight not Mir)

  • millerman1968

    When JDS knocks Mir down, he just needs to stay out of his guard and hammer fist him

    • adam1848

      I know he is all good with BJJ, but I hope JDS doesn’t even go near Mir’s guard. Not even for side control hammers. Just stand back, let the ref stand Mir up, and knock him down again. And again. If there is one thing to learn from the Nog fight, it is that Mir’s instincts are so good, he is still deadly even when rocked. Brock was kicking his ass that first fight, and MIr pulled off a sick takedown from his back to get the knee. And he seemed practically unconscious when he pulled that unbelievable (literally historic) reversal against Nog. I think JDS would be foolish to even try to test his G&P or BJJ against Mir, when he holds such a significant advantage in the stand up.

      • maddawgmar

        You are absolutely correct in everything you said. For JDS to win outside of a plain KO, he has to respect Mir’s heart. If not this could be a mirror of Nog/Mir. Also he has to respect Mir’s stand up, JDS is better but if he takes him likely, it could mirror Mir/Kongo. I am a huge Mir fan and I’ll be pulling for him, but I see JDS winning this fight. He won’t be dumb.

  • bryanadams

    I can’t believe what I saw on UFC primetime tonight! Big Nog disrespecting Mir ‘s grappling, what a sore looser! Him and Jds sitting around calling Mir a phony. Hey nog he bested u twice! Now you’re just hoping Jds can win so u can stay relevant through him! Jds is the favorite in my book, but now I’m hoping Mir puts his ass to sleep.

    • adam1848

      I just set my DVR to record the 3:00am Primetime, because I hope you are full of crap (but I fear you are not) because if there is one man on earth right now who has no right to be disrespecting Frank Mir, it is Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. I am a huge fan of JDS and the Nogueira brothers, but I expect more from them. You are absolutely correct, Mir beat Big Nog twice…a fact is a fact. I still think Nog is the better fighter, but I have nothing concrete to defend that opinion. Frank Mir is becoming a legit candidate for the Hall of Fame, and I’ll be very disappointed to see Nog disrespect him. But having said that…Junior dos Santos will absolutely destroy Frank Mir.

    • RubeKegal

      well said bryan adams…I was thinking same thing. JDS said Mir was “not a man”….well now, that non-man kicked your coach’s arse twice!

  • AdamBianski

    “I still think Nog is the better fighter”
    Maybe the quote of all time. Do you also think that Tito is better then Chuck, or that grass is blue? If we stand side by side and I am taller then you it doesn’t matter if you or anyone else think that you are taller then me. Frank destroyed Nog in the first fight, so bad alot of people thought Mir was the best in the world. Then in the second fight he broke his fn arm. After reading posts like that I almost think people just want to argrue.

    • RubeKegal

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Mir has fought MUCH better competition.

  • opposition13

    Lose Mir! Lose! I cant stand this guy…

  • pauly12

    I think you meant every fighter faces adversity, not diversity.