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Frank Mir on Lesnar: ‘I don’t think he’s physically capable of going 5 rounds’

Frank Mir is a man who has had his past life taken from him by tragedy. He had to give up his belt and was faced with a long road back to his title.

From encountering everything from doctors who said he would never fight again, the tremendous amount of rehab he had to face and overcome, clawing his way back to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division, to now facing a genetic freak who is at the last step to full redemption.

In the days leading up to his encounter with Brock Lesnar, Mir speaks on the match from a more strategic standpoint.

Mir is counting on one of two things leading into his fight; that he gets rushed near the beginning of the fight like he did last time, or he sees the more conservative approach from Lesnar, like he took with Randy Couture.

“If Brock really comes out and tries to abandon the [training], comes running at me heads over heels and just tries to bullrush me over, I honestly think that’s his best chance,” said Mir in a recent interview on

However, Mir does not have as much faith in Brock’s cardio and muscle endurance as he has in his explosive power.

“I don’t think he’s physically capable of going 5 rounds of hard fighting just because of his stature,”explained Mir.

Adding, “Could he go 3 rounds, or 5 rounds if I fight like Heath and let him dominate me and keep me in great position, well yeah.

“If he told me he was going to stand with me, then yeah, I would stand toe to toe with him and swing. Because I feel I have great head movement. He has no head movement.” He continues, “But all of the sudden he throws a punch, changes levels and shoots on me, that’s gonna be difficult. So that’s why I don’t wanna stand in front of him. No so much for his punches, but his shots.”

Mir seems to be on the right track. So what does he envision happening on July 11th? Frank goes on to lay out how he’s going to win this fight.

“But if I throw 3 or 4 punches and I slide off at an angle, throw another punch, and he shoots, and I’m never where I’m at, that’s going to be very difficult [for Lesnar],” said Mir.

As if Mir’s striking coach Ken Hahn was in his ear, we see how much influence he has on Frank and how energized he has Frank coming into this fight. It seems Frank has just as much confidence in his striking, if not more, than he did for the Nogueira fight.

Mir continues about, what he feels is his biggest asset for this fight, his footwork. “I think now we really see in MMA how much footwork is really a prevailing defense, and offense. It’s more important than slipping or checking punches because footwork helps eliminate shots, it helps eliminate getting kicked and punched in the head. You see some of the greatest fighters in the world right now, and one thing I can point out that they all have, is great footwork.”

We can expect to see Mir bouncing around and looking like a more active version than we saw in his last fight with Big Nog as it seems he is gaining confidence in his striking with every pad session. He has been on the underside of Brock before and we should see him looking to desperately avoid being put there again.

This is the opportunity of Franks life right now as a win on July 11th, in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, would solidify his Champion status and give him that redemption he is so furiously seeking.

  • ultimoshogun says:

    More muscles= more blood and oxygen. Lesnar could gas if its a fast paced fight but then again Mir’s conditioning has also failed him before.

  • Jak says:

    I don’t see this going five rounds either way.

    secondly, i also don’t see Mir being physically capable of going 5 rounds with a 265 pound wrestler. Lesser fighters have made Mir gas.

    i don’t know who will win, but i can’t help but think it will end in round 1 or 2. i would actually be quite pleasantly surprised if it did go more(unless it’s boring)

  • PlagueAngel says:

    Lesnar will come prepared for this fight. Unless he makes another mistake, he should be able to use his strong striking and his incredible reach to knock Mir to the ground. I think Lesnar has good enough BJJ skills to defend in Mir’s guard. I think Mir will have to defend himself better on his back from Lesnar’s striking. I think this fight will end like the first one should have. TKO in the first/second round to Lesnar. I just can’t see Mir winning this one.

  • Guy Gaduois says:

    Wow. Bad writing. Strunk and White. Little / Brown handbook. Editor.
    Five Ounces is missing quality writers.
    Five Ounces used to break more stories and feature very good writing – both style and content.

    What has happened?

  • kevmma says:

    this is going to be a great fight. i think mir just has more heart and will tough it out and get a submission

    plagueangel, how in the world do you think brocks bjj is going to be anywhere near mir’s?

    lesnars only shot is to keep it standing and bang him out.

  • shotokai_ says:

    I know Gaduois, iv said it before under a different name, and ill say it again – there are fans that comment on this site that could write significantly better articles than those currently being produced. I don’t know what the employment criteria is, apart from having to be pals with cory brady, but for my money there are at least 3 writers at 5oz who seem no more than enthusiastic fans with a solid, at best, grasp of the English language.

    as for the content, Mir is disillusioned if he thinks his cardio will be better than Lesnars come fight day. He may have looked springy and “rejuvenated” against Nog, but its one thing to bounce around and do pure stand up for 7 minutes, which tank abbott at this present moment is probably capable of, and its another to have a gigantic athlete shooting at you and pressing you against the cage for 25. Mir’s never had outstanding cardio, and stand up cardio and grappling cardio are two very different things – just ask chuck liddell – so his last fight proved nothing. “I don’t think he’s physically capable of going 5 rounds of hard fighting just because of his stature” He may not be capable of going 5 hard rounds but he can go 3 hard and 2 sloppy; which is still more than you Frank. Mir’s not going to outwork Lesnar, he’ll have to tap him or catch him on the feet in the first 2 rounds. And, although untested, i would hypothesize that Lesnars chin is made of granite so the former is more probable

  • shotokai_ says:

    kevmma, plagueangel wasnt suggesting lesnar would submit mir in a grappling match, he was saying he thinks he’s improved it enough to avoid submissions on the ground. “lesnars only shot is to keep it standing and bang him out.” i think you should probably watch their first fight.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Frank’s analysis is dead on. He has to keep moving to avoid the takedowns. His stand up against ‘Nog was impressive, but ‘Nog doesn’t have the same skill set as Lesnar–world class wrestling, massive size, and ridiculous speed on the takedowns. Mir has great submissions, but to use them he has to play to Lesnar’s wrestling strength by fighting on the ground, and no way does Frank want to be there. So Frank needs to stick and move and hope that Lesnar slows down in later rounds, making him vulnerable to a strike or maybe too tired to fight off a submission from top position. Since nobody has come close to taking Lesnar into round 3, I have to give the edge to Lesnar.

  • mac wilson says:

    It’s an article about a fight that is coming up on the next UFC card. This article is purly for the purposes of translating statements made by Mir leading up to the fight.

    I don’t know where the shakespearian style is supposed to come in.

  • tron7 says:

    Surly, you jest.

  • edub says:

    Haha Mac I dug the article.

    I got Lesnar in this one tough.

  • neijia says:

    have to agree with Angry Mike. Mir’s stick and move looks great though no way Lesnar is getting knocked down easily several times like Nog did. Mir’s analysis is right on. Footwork is pretty much everything for him. If he can do that for 5 rounds, maybe he can win. Otherwise, Lesnar by TKO/KO early on: even Mir says Lesnar’s best plan is bumrushing early, not playing it conservatively. Of course he also has a gameplan for that possibility which is still footwork based. Take a lesson from Machida. Mir is still the fighter with the best chance of beating him now compared to others except for maybe Carwin. Randy did not have the constant head movement and footwork Mir talks about needing. He was essentially a smaller wrestler-type. Still, it’s a tough uphill battle against such a freak, even with great technical striking. 60-40 Lesnar-Mir.

  • redness says:

    I think Mir is one of the most intelligent fighters in the game right now. He really looked good in his fight with big Nog and had a great game plan. When all doubt him he usally wins, Aside from those bad preformances right after he got back from the injury. Its also a shame that he was protayed like such a dick on TUF. I still think he wins with a sub before the end of the fourth.

  • mu_shin says:

    Anyone who watched the promotional documentary piece the UFC produced previous to the Lesnar/Herring fight might question Mir’s contentions about Brock’s cardio.

    Lesnar submits himself to the direction of a group of trainers who push him relentlessly in disciplines designed to enhance his endurance, build his explosive strength, and train his prodigious physique in the sport specific demands made by the disparate elements of mixed martial arts. His regimen impressed me as cutting edge and old school at the same time, touching on hard core wrestling, boxing/stand up striking, weight lifting, pure cardiovascular training like running and exercise biking, and submission work and take down defense within the context of round robin sparring against rotating fresh partners. No denying such a huge muscular guy requires a vast metabolic capacity to process oxygen in service to his fighting effort, but as far as I can see, no one works harder at it than Brock Lesnar.

    I see this match as more than just a meeting of two opponents; for me, it’s an illustration of clashing philosophies within the development of modern MMA, and more specifically, within the heavyweight division. Mir represents a similar ideal in my mind to the tenets espoused by Lyoto Machida, even though Mir is not as strongly associated with classical martial arts.

    Mir is the fighter as thinking man, working within a technical framework to express the potential of Brazilian ju-jutsu, which allowed him in his first encounter with Lesnar to overcome obvious physical disadvantages and find victory.

    Lesnar is the pure athlete, the physical specimen, naturally gifted with power, speed, size, and reflexes, commited to relentless training based in his wrestling orientation. Mir has experience, Lesnar limitless potential. Mir expemplifies the BJJ ideal of overcoming size and strength through technique and patient discipline, while Brock overwhelms his opponents with the physics of the bull rush, crushing physical power, and the advantages inherent in superior size and strength.

    As a fan, I favor the Mir side of the equation, and seriously hope Frank will emerge victorious. As an observer of the sport, and witnessing the rise of Shane Carwin, maybe an emerging Bobby Lashley, and without doubt potentially the most dominant heavyweight athlete to enter the fray in MMA in Brock Lesnar, we’re seeing a shift in the paradigm, which I’m also prepared to appreciate, and to applaud. Hope this fight plays out in amazing fashion, and gives us all more to write and conjecture about…

  • dpk says:

    If someone gasses in this match, I see it being Mir. I really don’t see this going past 3 rounds, it will either be a G&P TKO for Lesnar, or a Sub for Mir. I keep going back and forth over how I see this ending, I can’t wait to see this fight.

  • neijia says:

    Lesnar is the pure specimen but in every interview he also comes across as genuinely humble and always sincerely learning every aspect of the sport. Mir seems to have both better boxing and jiu jitsu but that observation reminds me of what everyone said about BJ Penn facing GSP, who followed the same gameplan of takedown/gnp. Mir’s striking and footwork looks much crisper than BJ’s so I really hope he does better this time. He is very familiar with Lesnar’s takedown/gnp abilities and is smartly assuming an improved Lesnar in every other aspect so at least he knows better than anyone else what he’s up against.

  • It sounds like Mir has a great game plan. Let’s see what happens on Saturday. My bet is that Mir will try to work his movement and distance and protect against takedowns for the first 3 rounds, and then try to be more aggressive in the last 2, if he makes it that far. He’s going to look for Brock to get frustrated and make mistakes.


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