Posts Tagged ‘Frank Mir’

Frank Mir flying every week to train at renowned Albuquerque gym

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Frank Mir is training for his next bout at the Jackson/Winkeljohn Gym.    (Steve Snowden/Getty Images)

Frank Mir is training for his next bout at the Jackson/Winkeljohn Gym. (Steve Snowden/Getty Images)

When asked what the strategy for UFC heavyweight Frank Mir’s upcoming heavyweight bout with former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier will be, Mir’s trainer Greg Jackson said it simply: Stay moving.

Moving — both in and out of the cage — best describes Mir’s approach to his April 20 bout with Cormier in San Jose’s HP Pavilion as the co-main event of the UFC on Fox 7.

The 33-year-old former UFC World Heavyweight champion who lost his last fight to Junior Dos Santos last May has been on the move a lot lately, and not just when Jackson instructs him to lug around a 70-pound heavy bag to build his endurance.

Mir’s moves begin late Sunday evenings when he temporarily relocates from his family’s home in Las Vegas to his training home — Jackson/Winkeljohn Gym in Albuquerque — and ends on Fridays, when he packs up and heads home again. The Cormier camp marks the first time Mir, a Las Vegas native, has left his training home led by longtime trainer Jimmy Gifford. Gifford will remain in Mir’s corner for the UFC on FOX 7 fight.

“There’s a real high level of competition here at [Jackson's] all times,” says Mir (16-6) and currently ranked sixth among heavyweights. “When I’m having an off moment or when I make a mistake, [Jackson’s] isn’t like other gyms where I can kinda go through the motions and still succeed and be victorious. Here, if I’m not at 100 percent, I go home with a lot of bumps and bruises.”

While the team might be fine tuning Mir’s ability to dodge a punch, Mir’s not one to elude any of Cormier’s verbal jabs. Mir says Cormier — the third ranked heavyweight — finds himself in a no-lose situation: If he beats Mir, he immediately launches through the rankings and leapfrogs other contenders for a title shot by citing Mir’s storied past. If Cormier loses, he can explain away the loss by, yet again, citing Mir’s storied past.

Mir prefers not to think so much about the latter possibility.

“Anyone at heavyweight would hope for a knockout,” Mir says. “As far as submissions go, if he makes a mistake, I’ll take one of his limbs home.”

His ability to do that, of course, depends on his willingness to keep moving — both his feet and his home — so that he could make what could be the biggest move of all: up the UFC heavyweight rankings once again.

– Melissa Segura

  • Published On Apr 10, 2013
  • Dana White: ‘If you have to use TRT, you’re probably too old to be fighting’

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    UFC president Dana White hopes to ban testosterone replacement therapy from MMA. (AP)

    UFC president Dana White hopes to ban testosterone replacement therapy from MMA. (AP)

    MONTREAL — From Chael Sonnen to Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir to Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort to Rampage Jackson and beyond, mixed martial artists at the sport’s highest level have successfully persuaded state athletic commissions to OK medical exemptions for them to use testosterone replacement therapy.

    But Dana White has a different message for those fighters: “If you have to use TRT, you’re probably too old to be fighting.”

    Read More…

  • Published On Mar 15, 2013
  • As Cormier plays waiting game in Strikeforce, his UFC future is unfolding

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    Daniel Cormier won the championship belt after defeating Josh Barnett during the heavyweight tournament final bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix in May. (Kyle Terada/US PRESSWIRE)

    TORONTO — Daniel Cormier is so close to the UFC he can taste it. The Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion was in attendance at Saturday night’s UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre, watching the fights and looking for one.

    The undefeated 33-year-old has been promised a prominent spot on the UFC’s roster of big boys once he fights once more in the sister promotion. And he does have a bout scheduled for a Nov. 3 Strikeforce card in Oklahoma City. But no opponent. Frank Mir was to come over from the UFC, where he was a two-time heavyweight champion, but was injured in training and pulled out of the fight this past week.

    So now the prom is six weeks away, and Cormier (10-0) is left waiting for a dance partner. He’s hoping to hear a name early in the coming week, but he’s not fretting and he’s not setting a deadline. “When I fought ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, Strikeforce called me just five weeks before,” he told as he was waiting for the fights to begin. “And I had been in Louisiana for a few weeks, doing nothing. But I fought then, and I’ll fight now, no matter what. I’m not bowing out. I’m not doing that to my Okies.”

    Cormier has a history in the state where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains. He wrestled at Oklahoma State, making it to the 2001 NCAA Division I final. He continued to live and train in the area for several years, twice making the U.S. Olympic team. That deep background in wrestling, aside from allowing him to dictate where fights are fought, has instilled in him a comfort level in taking on whomever whenever.

    “I’ve been training for Nov. 3 for a month,” said Cormier. “To get ready for a specific opponent, once one is in place, I just need a few weeks. It depends. Frank was a problem because he’s a southpaw, and I’ve never fought one before. But now if they bring me a conventional fighter, I can fall back into my comfort zone.”

    It’s not the softspoken Cormier’s way to call anyone out, but he must have a few names stored away in the back of his mind, right? “The only names that I have in my head are the ones that have stepped to the front and said they want to fight,” he said. “Roy Nelson said he’d do it. Pat Barry said he’d do it. Fabricio Werdum said he’d do it. Those guys are now on my radar. So I know that maybe I should start watching film on them a little bit, start training in accordance with what I might be doing against those guys.”

    How does one prepare for a fight that might be against kickboxer Barry or might be against jiu-jitsu ace Werdum? And then there’s the larger issue: Can a fight with either of them elevate Cormier’s status in the same way that the bout with Mir could have? “Any guy from the UFC could do that,” Daniel insisted, before acknowledging, “Maybe not as much as Frank Mir would have.”

    That’s an understatement. I mean, a win over Barry, who is 7-5 with losses in three of his last four fights, wouldn’t exactly put Cormier in the crosshairs of Junior dos Santos. Or, um, Cain Velasquez.

    Cormier smiled at the mention of his training partner, who by the time Daniel reaches the UFC might once again be the heavyweight champ. “I think he will be,” said the fellow American Kickboxing Academy fighter. “I really do believe it. He’s amazing.”

    Should Velasquez regain the belt in his Dec. 29 rematch with Dos Santos, Cormier’s options would be to drop to the 205-pound division — he wrestled at 211 pounds in the Olympics — or go for the heavyweight belt against his teammate. Cormier and Velasquez have discussed that latter possibility. “We’ve talked about it a little bit, not really going into detail,” said Daniel. “But we’ve always said that if a guy is a champion, it’s not fair for his teammate to have to say, ‘I’m going to be No. 2 for the rest of my career.’ So if and when the time comes, we’ll sit down as a family and discuss whether we want to go forward with that. I’ll tell you this: We would not allow it to rip us apart.”

    That’s a discussion for a different time. For now and for the foreseeable future, Cormier is working out alongside Velasquez five days a week. And as he sees it, sparring and grappling with the man he believes is the best heavyweight in the world puts him in good standing for his upcoming fight against an opponent who has not yet — “against TBA,” he jumped in. “And it doesn’t really matter who it is. When you’re training with No. 1 or No. 2 every day, the rest should take care of itself.”

    – Jeff Wagenheim

  • Published On Sep 23, 2012
  • UFC 146 not to be taken lightly, literally

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    UFC 146

    Main event fighters Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir are contributing 500 pounds to UFC 146′s main card total of 2,845. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS — The world’s tallest Belgian draft horse. A cubic yard of well-packed topsoil. My 1998 Honda Civic with 197,000 hard miles on it.

    These are things that weigh around 2,500 pounds.

    Here’s one more: UFC 146.

    Actually, we exaggerate. The combined bulk of the 10 fighters on the event’s main card is actually only 2,485 pounds, according to the groans emanating from the poor scale that had to weigh them all Friday afternoon.

    You can add a few pounds to that total, though, once the big guys hydrate and hit the buffets along The Strip. And by the time Saturday night’s fights at MGM Grand Garden Arena all have been fought, don’t be surprised to see an eight-sided crater denting the desert floor here in southern Nevada.

    The main event inside the hopefully-well-reinforced UFC octagon pits 239-pound heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos against 261-pound Frank Mir, himself a two-time former belt holder. The rest of the tonnage on the five-bout main card ranges from Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and his one-big-toe-from-being over-the-line 264 meaty pounds to the appropriately nicknamed Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman and his paltry 233.

    This is no doubt a UFC record. FightMetric, which keeps official stats for the behemoth MMA organization, does not have numbers to back that up, but considering that this is the first all-heavyweight main card in UFC history, I feel comfortable going out on a limb. A very sturdy limb, I hope.

    Friday afternoon’s weigh-ins were lacking in the usual drama, in fact, because heavyweights seldom have much difficulty making the 265-pound limit. None of them even had to strip down to their skivvies, as did the every-ounce-conscious competitors in the evening’s seven other bouts. Everyone made weight, right down to the featherweights.

    Saturday’s first three prelims can be seen on the UFC’s Facebook page (starting at approximately 6:45 p.m. ET), and the other four will air on FX (8 p.m. ET).

    “I am so excited to defend my belt on such a huge show,” dos Santos said in a statement released by the UFC.

    Huge show. Heh-heh, Junior.

    Not to be out-punned, Mir added, “This is the biggest fight of my career.”

    OK, guys, quit it.

    – Jeff Wagenheim

  • Published On May 25, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 146

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    Frank Mir (right) guns for the UFC heavyweight title held by Junior dos Santos (left) on Saturday night in Las Vegas. (Josh Hedges/Getty Images) analysts Ben Fowlkes, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 146 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

    Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir

    FOWLKES: For all his skills and success and experience, Mir still has a suspect chin and an underwhelming takedown ability. The latter has improved in recent years, but the former only tends to get worse with age. JDS has faced better wrestlers than Mir and managed to stay on his feet. There’s no reason to think he won’t do it again here, which is bad news for the former champ. Dos Santos by TKO.

    HUNT: Mir has made a career out of stepping into big-time fights, and he’s had mixed success. However, Dos Santos, a striker with power and technique, is Mir’s kryptonite. Dos Santos by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: If Mir can take this fight to the ground, watch out. But how is he supposed to get Dos Santos off his feet? A more likely scenario: Mir goes to the mat all by himself, involuntarily. Dos Santos by KO.

    WERTHEIM: JDS has been a tornado to everyone else’s trailer park lately. Mir will seek to take the fight to the ground and grab a limb. That’s not his best chance; it’s his only chance. Dos Santos by TKO.

    Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva

    FOWLKES: Velasquez has a lot in common with the last man to beat Silva, not the least of which are the coaches at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. AKA teammate Daniel Cormier had little trouble putting his quickness to use against Silva’s size back in September, and I doubt Velasquez will either. Velasquez by decision.

    HUNT: Former UFC champ Velasquez has to be the favorite, even though he’s been nursing his knee back since last November’s loss to Dos Santos. Word out of Silva’s camp is he’s down to a svelte (for him) 270 pounds coming out of one of his best camps ever. Will Silva’s physicality be too much for Velasquez? I’m not so sure. Velasquez by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: One punch last November transformed Velasquez from champion to under-the-radar second fiddle. A sure way for him to get noticed … and get a shot at his old belt: End this fight just as swiftly and suddenly. Velasquez by KO.

    WERTHEIM: Silva’s size is the X-factor (XXXL factor) that has enabled him to beat Fedor and succeed in Elite XC. Look for Velasquez, quicker to the punch and the better wrestler, to get back to winning. Velasquez by decision.
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  • Published On May 25, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 140

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    Jon Jones (above) made his first defense of the UFC light heavyweight title with a fourth-round submission of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 135. (AP) analysts Ben Fowlkes, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 140 on Saturday in Toronto.

    Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida

    FOWLKES: If I’m Machida, I’m hoping that a light falls from the rafters and knocks Jones out. Otherwise it’s going to be a rough night for the smaller, slower Brazilian. Life ain’t a karate movie, son. Jones by TKO.

    HUNT: With the year Jones is having, it’s hard to pick against him. He has momentum on his side, having gained major confidence taking out ex-champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with little fret. Jones’ speed, agility and reactionary instincts should be enough for any new tricks the crafty Machida might have up his sleeve. Jones by TKO. 

    WAGENHEIM: Machida is an ex-champ who not too long ago was considered invincible. That was then. This is now. I just don’t see him hanging with Jonny Bones. Jones by KO.

    WERTHEIM: Jon Jones has no real discernible weakness — possibly his chin, though he hadn’t been hit enough to make a judgment. He is the more versatile fighter, the more confident fighter and, maybe most important, has length. Hard to see how he doesn’t win his fourth fight of 2011. Jones by TKO.

    Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

    FOWLKES: Mir is too big and too technically sound for Nogueira, who might be surgically repaired but still moves like a rusty tin man version of his old self. Mir by TKO.

    HUNT: His first-round summer knockout over Brendan Schaub aside, Nogueira’s performances have been inconsistent in the last few years — which is consistent with an age-accelerated 35-year-old who’s endured a particularly punishing 12-year, 40-fight career. It’s Mir’s race to win on points if his cardio is up to snuff. Mir by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: The first time they fought, Big Nog was not in good health. But for Mir, that TKO win injected a healthy dose of confidence. The only difference this time: They go the distance. Mir by decision.

    WERTHEIM: Mir beat Nogueira three years ago in a considerable upset. It would be less of surprise if he won again. He ground game remains fearsome and he’s younger and a lot less battled-scarred than his opponent. Mir by decision.

    Read More…

  • Published On Dec 09, 2011