An emotional Frank Mir breaks down his decision win over ‘Big Country’
Coming into Bellator 231’s main event, many would maintain that Frank Mir already had one foot in the grave of retirement and that a slimmed down Roy Nelson would be that final nail to shut out the last desperate shafts of daylight. Yet at the end of a thoughtful and clever competition, Mir would once again remind a fickle MMA community of his fighting prowess that has been critical to his longevity.
While Father Time is always undefeated as they say, it was within Mir’s post fight remarks that he would also remind the world of just how insightful his technical understanding is and how he remains just as salient and resilient in executing a well thought out, yet tried and true path to victory.
He reveals that “I knew my left inside leg kick is faster than his overhand or the uppercut, so even if he saw it coming, if he wanted to try and beat me, they only way he could beat me was with a straight right hand. Roy doesn’t throw a straight right hand.”
While he would acknowledge the ‘New Look’ Nelson’s well documented strengths, he would impart that “Roy is like a black belt level” with his chosen moves but has failed to adapt his game in the continually evolving landscape of modern MMA. So Mir was able to put on his Cro Cop hat and implement a proven rubric from his “bigger toolbox” that still consistently pay offs with a reliably stagnant ‘Big Country’.
A slimmer Nelson wasn’t necessarily a faster Nelson, and whatever perceived advantages may linger, they provide a false positive when the skill sets failed to keep pace with the superficial. Mir’s combat clinic would spill over from his performance in the cage to his thoughtful lecture at the post fight podium.
While rumors from Nelson’s fight camp persisted that he had sustained an injury to his right knee, Mir was reluctant to take the bait insisting that “if he was that injured and took that many leg kicks then, holy cow, that guy earns the iron leg award.” Mir continued that “to be honest with you I thought that was very strategic on their part to convince me to try to kick his right leg to line me up for the right hand.”
But the demeanor and confidence of his incredibly well spoken review was immediately derailed into an undeniable vulnerability when the conversation steered towards his children and family. While Mir was once in a lucid and articulate flow state as he explained his greater perception of the result and his strategies that allowed it, his voice would suddenly be arrested as he considered how rare and poignant of a moment he was afforded by getting his first victory with his daughter in his corner.
For the first time he was at a loss for words and composure as he turned his back on the podium to collect his cherished thoughts and emotions. It is a rare and welcomed insight into the many facets that make up the greater and complex Frank Mir. Even after he was able to slightly subdue his emotions, it still took him several beats to remove himself from his imagination and find words that still must be inadequate in expressing the nature of his profound inner joy.
Holding back tears as sniffling blood trickles from his nostril, he offers a simple “I think I stopped fighting a long time ago for myself. I have enough shiny things to post on the wall,” and that “honestly my ego has been satisfied. But being an example for my children and showing them the way to be…how to deal with adversity…how to handle how to be on a four fight losing streak and being told you’re going to be cut afterwards and change their lifestyle financially. I just want to try to be an example to them. Not for them to attain, but to go over the top of.”
“The other day my wife told me she walked into my son’s room and she caught him watching old fights of mine. That’s why I fight still. I think alot fathers want their sons and daughters to look up to them and admire them. I’m in a position where I can control that.”
Despite the doom and uncertainty that was lingering over his future, Frank Mir has proven that he is still not only the author of his own destiny and reality, but the steward and progenitor of the next generation of fighters. It’s not hard to imagine a future with Frank on the other side of the cage, cornering and coaching those who will continue to shape the evolution of combat sports.