by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It was officially announced via the UFC’s website that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir will make his return to the Octagon in August at UFC 74 when he takes on Antoni Hardonk.
Mir was all set to take on Hardonk back in April at a UFC Fight Night event but the former champion ran into an injury that prevented him from competing and Hardonk ended up taking on Team Punishment member Justin McCully and lost in a decision.
Frank Mir has recently been seen doing color commentary for the WEC in their events but the former champion wants to get back to the forefront of the ever growing UFC heavyweight division. His health has come into question before almost every fight since returning but Mir, when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio, says he’s ready.
“Everything’s really good,” said Mir about his health. “Everything’s as good as can be expected.”
Since returning from a devastating leg injury that kept him out of action for over a year, Mir has struggled to get back to his championship form that saw him submit Tim Sylvia in 2004. Mir has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights and a win over Hardonk is absolutely crucial for him to stay in the heavyweight division that has recently added top talent like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira amongst others. Mir feels confident about his return this time though.
“Everybody knows my career and accidents happen and I’ve been stumbling along the way ever since,” Mir stated in his interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I’ve been trying to make sure I get back up on my feet and go strong and have a good showing.”
Antoni Hardonk is currently 1-1 in his UFC career. After debuting and knocking out Sherman Pendergarst at UFC 65, he lost an uninspired decision against the afore mentioned Justin McCully at the UFC Fight Night event in April. Mir knows about Hardonk’s stand-up skill and believes the ground will be the best place to keep this fight.
“He’s dangerous on his feet, he’s an Ernesto Hoost student,” said Mir. “Obviously I want to keep the stand-up with him to a minimum and obviously he’s going to want to keep it to the maximum. I think its going to come down to whoever gets what they want.”
UFC 74 will take place in Las Vegas on August 25th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center