by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Mir has always been one of the more outspoken athletes in mixed martial arts, having served as a guest commentator on UFC events in the past and currently part of the regular broadcast team for World Extreme Cagefighting on Versus.
He may, however, have taken things a step too far in recent comments that he made during an interview with WXDX-FM radio in Pittsburgh. Talking about his rivalry with current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Mir said he wanted Lesnar “to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries.”
The comments prompted a swift response from UFC president Dana White, who said, “I was disappointed by Frank Mir’s comments. Frank’s been with the UFC a long time, he’s a two-time heavyweight champion, and a commentator for the WEC. I think his emotions are running high right now, he has a big fight coming up next month and he’s still upset about his loss to Lesnar. He’s been talked to, he regrets what he said, and he won’t be saying anything like that again.”
Mir has fought Lesnar twice. He submitted Lesnar in the former NCAA national wrestling champion’s UFC debut, but lost in their rematch at UFC 100 when Lesnar stopped him with strikes.
The rivalry between the two has only grown more heated during Lesnar’s absence to recuperate from a bout with diverticulitis.
Even so, Mir apparently agrees the he put his foot well over the line. In a prepared statement released by the UFC on Tuesday, Mir said, “I would like to apologize to Brock Lesnar, his family, the UFC and the UFC fans for my stupid remarks. I respect Brock, all the other fighters, and the sport of mixed martial arts. I’m sorry that I stepped out of line.”
Mir will step in the Octagon to face number one contender Shane Carwin on March 27 to determine the UFC interim heavyweight champion. The winner, barring injury, will go on to face Lesnar this summer, likely at a planned July 3 event in Las Vegas. If the winner is unable to fight, Cain Velasquez will step in to face Lesnar.