February 23, 2010
Frank Mir is dynamite for the sport. His talent in the cage in undeniable and he's got the "it" factor outside the cage. Simply stated, his chops put him amongst the elite. Mir trash talks but there's an air of smugness when he does it. But every once in a while a trash talker can overdo it and put his foot in his mouth. Chael Sonnen got nabbed right before UFC 109 when he was praising Mark Coleman during the prefight press conference just two weeks after calling the guy a bum on MMAWeekly Radio.
Mir lost his mind late last week on a Pittsburgh radio show.
There's no doubt that Mir hates Brock Lesnar. He's stated it many times that Lesnar took the quick road to the UFC heavyweight title, is short on technical ability and worst of all, he behaves like a pro wrestler. This is where Mir moves into "pot calling the kettle black" territory.
During the conversation on The Mark Madden Show on WXDX in Pittsburgh, when asked if the dislike for Lesnar is genuine Mir again explained why he thinks the champ is bad for the sport (1:57 mark).
"He doesn't like me and I can guarantee, you talk to anybody in my family, it's a legitimate hate. His very being bugs me just because I've seen a lot of children out there who look to athletes and martial artists as role models, and it just makes me cringe. I sit there and go, 'Man, I lost to this guy the second time around and now people think that's the way to be -- be big, obnoxious and angry.' That's not right. We have anger toward each other. Everything I stand for he despises and dislikes, and I can tell you I truly do not like him as a person whatsoever."
Sounds familiar. Mir has said that on many occasions. But for some reason Mir became the guy he dislikes so much. Completely unprovoked at the end of the interview when being asked why he has so many fans, Mir went Mike Tyson on Lesnar (4:05 mark).
"A lot of individuals are so worried about being politically correct, I'd rather go ahead and say what's on my mind than to sit there and come up with some PC 'Oh, the guy is a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him.' If I don't mean it, why is it even coming out of my mouth? ... I want to fight Lesnar. I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries. That's what's going through my mind."
Tyson saying he wanted eat Lennox Lewis' children shocked some but eventually it blew over and only added to his bad ass mystique. And what Mir said probably isn't the best thing for a growing sport that again was recently labeled "Bloodsport" by some Aussie media members. UFC president Dana White is one of the most politically incorrect and anti-establishment guys in sports, but even he may cringe at Mir's "die in the Octagon" comment. Don't forget White has ripped fighters like Lesnar, Paul Daley and Dan Henderson for going overboard with their postfight antics and trash talk.
Now the question is, does Mir need to be publicly disciplined or apologize?
That's easy for me. If he doesn't mean it, don't bother. In era of phony, disingenuous mea culpas, the last thing MMA needs to do is jump on that bandwagon. Luckily the sport is still undercovered and underpromoted, so this won't blow up much. If Randy Moss, Pedro Martinez or Kevin Garnett says something like this, they get reprimanded and fined. That's always been a ridiculous policy by the big three -- MLB, NFL and NBA. Athletes are entitled to speak like jackasses. It's up to the viewing audience and consumer to ultimately decide their long term fate. For me, Mir went overboard. Oh well. As long as he doesn't want kill me the next time I interview, I feel comfortable.
But we do have to point out Mir's stance on not being "PC" is ridiculous. At the end of the interview he sounded identical to why he and many others hate Lesnar.
Bottom line, it's all good for the sport. Sure if you're Jay Mariotti or Skip Bayless, get your panties in a bunch. But we all know those guys are huge hypocrites who are often more boorish to their own co-workers than Mir would ever be to another fighter or fan. For the most part, boxing's biggest stars over the years, have been bullies and trash talkers. Deal with it. It's no different in MMA.
Listen here for the entire interview.
Thanks to WXDX for the audio
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