Frank Mir in the guillotine?
In a post-UFC 119 interview with ESPN contributor Michael Woods, UFC foreman Dana White indicated he would be well within his rights to dismiss Frank Mir after Mir's woeful performance against Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic on Saturday. (If you didn't see the fight, don't bother; if you did see the fight, you still didn't see a fight.)
"Sure [I'd consider cutting him]," White said. "You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job. Once 'Cro Cop' stuffed his takedown attempt, [Mir's] heart fell out on the floor."
And on the subject of respecting athletes who risk their necks: "When people say, 'Hey, these guys put their lives on the line,' that's a crock of s---. This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!"
Last thing first: Although mixed martial arts is far and away the safest of all combat sports -- football included -- that's not to be confused with "safe." No activity that gets your brain bounced around like a pingpong ball can be equated to picking flowers. But White is correct in that MMA is a voluntary activity -- and if you volunteer for a dangerous job, it's on you.
The Mir threat follows White's condemnation of Anderson Silva after a repugnant performance in Abu Dhabi against Demian Maia in April. The message: No one is so big or important that he can't be clipped for putting on a horrible climax to an otherwise solid program. The problem is that Mir's results -- he remains the only man to beat Brock Lesnar -- and gift for hyping bouts would be of service to competing promotions. The price for White making an example of Mir would be CBS grabbing attention with a Mir-Fedor Emelianenko proposal. Cutting fighters loose after a win doesn't give you a lot of leverage.
Mir had a bad showing. It happens. MMA is a job, and you're allowed the occasional bad day at the office. Before "The Ultimate Fighter" boosting business in 2005, the UFC had many of them.