Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | midnight
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Las Vegas Sun boxing/MMA reporters Brett Okamoto and Andy Samuelson discuss Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Frank Mir.
Sun Expanded Coverage
Frank Mir didn’t do much smiling when talk turned to UFC 100 opponent Brock Lesnar at his open workout last Friday at Striking Unlimited.
The one question that did raise a smirk on the UFC interim heavyweight champ’s face was whether there is a possibility for Lesnar-Mir III in a couple of decades.
The 30-year-old Mir just had his fourth child, son Ronin Maximus, on June 9. The next day Lesnar had a baby boy.
“Maybe, but I sure hope they don’t. I want my kids to all have jobs where they wear ties,” Mir said with a chuckle.
Mir was much less jovial when he spoke about his rematch with the former WWE superstar set for July 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
“I think Brock knows enough that he’s already worried. If I say anymore, I might not get him in the cage,” said the Bonanza High grad, sporting a fresh shiner over his right eye courtesy of an inadvertent Forrest Griffin head butt.
“I might as well try to boost up his confidence so he shows up on the 11th and I can get paid.”
Clearly the respect that Mir showed his last opponent, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, is almost nonexistent in his approach to Lesnar.
The two have shared plenty of verbal barbs over the past few months, but Mir does warn that he has to be careful of Lesnar’s devastating power.
“Anybody that size that gets behind a punch and sits down on it can catch me on the chin. If I’m cocky and put my hands down, obviously it will be a short night for me and I can go home and cry about it later,” said Mir of Lesnar (3-1 MMA record), who scored a major victory in his last outing over UFC legend Randy Couture.
But Mir, who sports a 12-3 mark, said he thinks the contest on this historic night could be similar to the pair’s first match at UFC 81 in Las Vegas, when he submitted Lesnar with a knee bar.
“The fighter I was then compared to the fighter I am now is leaps and bounds,” Mir said. “If he chooses to stand up, I’ll knock him out. If he chooses to take me down, I’ll submit him.”
While the statement may sound downright cocky, Mir’s trainer, Ken Hahn, says Lesnar’s relatively young career in the Octagon can’t match Mir’s lifelong training as a mixed martial artist.
“We’re going to show what a true MMA fighter is. He’s got boxing, he’s got kickboxing, he’s got grappling, he’s got wrestling, he’s got everything,” Hahn said.
“He’s got an answer for every single situation he may fall in. A lot of these guys are still trying to develop their systems, where they may have only one form of striking and grappling, but not sport specific to every situation. We got pro boxers, K1 fighters, the top guys in every form helping us.
“When you go into a training camp and everyone around you is the best in their field, you’re going to grow as a fighter. Believe me, Frank has grown a lot, especially in this camp.”
And perhaps even at home, where his third son receives most of Mir’s spare time not spent at the gym.
“When he was supposed to fight on the 23rd, we were looking forward to it. For me, I haven’t been so consumed with the fight because I just had the baby and I have my mind on something else,” said Mir’s wife, Jennifer.
“For him it’s a disadvantage, cause he still has to train. But since he grew up in mixed martial arts, he has the discipline to balance both lifestyles. For Frank, martial arts is 24/7, but not so with the fighting aspect. He takes each fight serious, but when he’s home, he’s a father and a husband.”
Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.