Mir: ‘He’s one of the most dangerous strikers I’ve ever fought’

By Evelyn Rodrigues

Photo by UFC

The American Francisco Santos Miranda, known as Frank Mir, is excited about his second chance at the title, which happens on May 26th, against Junior dos Santos, in Las Vegas. On an exclusive interview with TATAME, he talked about his expectations for fighting the Brazilian and remind some important facts in his career and denies his fame of being arrogant.

“Sometimes I think people rather see a fighter saying ‘oh Jesus, I’m so glad, I can’t believe I won, I’ve never been that good, I’m not that good…”

Check below the complete interview:

Were you surprised to be chosen as the next contender at Junior’s title replacing Overeem?

To be hones, I wasn’t surprised at all. Obviously I heard Dana’s version and in my mind I don’t think they’d put another person instead of me to fight Junior dos Santos. However, I thought that, maybe, Cigano wanted to wait until the trial to understand if Overeem would be able to fight and, putting it all together, I thought there would be a great chance I wouldn’t fight for the title, but it never happened and here I am.

Were were getting prepared to fight Cain Velasquez and now will have at chance at the title. How does it change your prep and game plan?

It does change things a little, but not everything. I don’t think I have to worry about Cain’s punches, because like he knows Boxing I know takedowns and I can submitt opponents on the floor. Junior dos Santos is always submitting people on their feet and he’s a better boxer, but that’s all he brings to this scenario. He may be good at Jiu-Jitsu, he can be a great wrestler, but his strongest point is Boxing, so his game plan is not to be on his punching zone so he won’t find me. To me Velasquez was more deceiving because he might try to knock you down like he did with Nogueira or he would be able to take you down and submit you like a striker, like he’s done with other fighters before.

Do you think Junior dos Santos will try to revenge Nogueira’s defeat when fighting you?

I guess he’s only fighting me because I’m trying to take that belt off him. I guess it means much more than trying to revenge Nogueira’s loss to me. I know it would be nice for him if he could win this fight and come back having revenged his friend’s loss, but in the end of the say he will be more focused on fighting me for his own reasons, afterall, he wants to remain as the champion.

Do you believe it’s the toughest fight in your career?

It’s hard to say because I only started studying Dos Santos a week ago. But I guess so. It’s our first fight and I guess he’s one of the most dangerous strikers I’ve ever fought.

You are a black belt gradutated by Sergio Penha. How did you guys meet?

He’s a great friend of mine and was the first guy to ever teach me Jiu-Jitsu. I looked for his gym to try to learn the sport and he was living in Las Vegas for a while.

After becoming UFC champion you had to take a break due to a bike accident. Even though you turned it around and started fighting again. Do you remember that time?

 I remember trying to come back and overcome the injury and all a fighter does is trying to deal with everyday’s obstacles. I remember how I got my leg broken, it was a pretty ugly accident, and I could only think about my healing process. Hard moments. There were many fights on which I couldn’t really punch the guys and I end up losing – if I was healthy I could have a better performance. Most times I felt like if I had been hit in the face, but I had the support and the guts to keep on going. Now I’m going for my second title shot even after I had my leg broken.

Have you considered stop fighting for good?

Yeah. When I returned to the octagon, the first fights I felt very stressed out, especially because my family was going there and watching me trying to get back in my feet – and it seems I was able to keep on going because I was healed from the injuries. To me it’s very important the father-husband role and it comes first. So, since I was dedicating my life to fighting and I didn’t have so much time to perform m other roles I really focused on fighting. And I would’ve stopped if it wasn’t my wife and my family backing me up.

Many fans say you seem arrogant, mainly Brazilians. What do you think about that?

I guess they say it because I’m so self-confident. Sometimes I think people rather see a fighter saying ‘oh Jesus, I’m so glad, I can’t believe I won, I’ve never been that good, I’m not that good’. I never had that kinda thought, especially because I was always so focused in getting into the octagon and compete. I fought many guys who think like that and due to my self-confidence I get to their nerves. But those who are arrogant can’t understand themselves, they think their qualities are bigger than they really are. I, on the other hand, am only confident about what I know I can really do.

Have you been to Brazil? What are your thoughts?

Yes. It’s very beautiful over there. I loved the weather, the humidity, people were friendly, nice and it seemed like a family giving their welcome to me. I loved the country and even told my wife we could take the kids there someday.

If you could say something to Junior dos Santos right now, what would it be?

Nothing. I guess we’re having our private chat on the octagon on May 26th.



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