Mir talks about Silva's challenge
A brief break from UFC 102 coverage: Last week, SportsIllustrated.com's Josh Gross circulated a report that had Anderson Silva and management kicking around the idea of a heavyweight bout.
Their ideal opponent? Depending on how Silva decides to pack on weight, diabetes. Second choice: Frank Mir.
If that sounds like an audacious plan, Mir himself doesn't see it that way. His theories on Silva's pseudo-challenge and how the hypothetical fight might transpire are below.
ESPN: What was your reaction to the news that Anderson Silva was singling you out?
Frank Mir: It would be a pleasure. It would be like saying you get to go in there and hit Tom Brady. Certain people in our sport have certain abilities, and he's obviously going to be a legend. He's never sparred with me, so the only way I can get to work with him is to beat him down in a fight. I look at it as a huge honor.
ESPN: Why do you think they floated your name specifically?
Mir: I think he feels that out of all the heavyweights, I'd be the least likely to shoot on him before anybody else. Stylistically, it's to his advantage. If he's going to fight a heavyweight, standing up and trying to pick him apart is probably his best avenue for victory. Which heavyweight is less likely to take him down? I probably have one of the weaker shots in the heavyweight division. Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin -- all those guys wrestled in college at high levels. I only wrestled for two years in high school. If you're going to stop someone's shot, it's probably easier to stop mine. I've also shown in my last couple of fights that I like to stand up.
ESPN: So you'd stand with him?
Mir: Yeah, as long as I could. If he rings my bell, I'm going to go ahead and try to take him down. But why would I want to take him down right off the bat? I want to move around with the guy. Some of the things he did, I don't even believe. When I watched the Forrest [Griffin] fight, it looked like I was watching a movie. Some people see that and they're afraid of it. When I saw Mike Tyson fight when I was a kid and everyone was terrified, I was a 12-year-old going, "Wow, what would it feel like to fight him? How great would that be?"
I'm curious. I want to see what it feels like. I want to test myself against them.
ESPN: What about the idea that there's really no upside to fighting a middleweight, even if it is Anderson? If you beat him, you're supposed to. If you don't, you're losing to a smaller guy.
Mir: Yeah, a lot of people wouldn't do it. A lot of people wouldn't have the balls to step in there and take such a huge risk. What if I lose? Who cares, man? Go to war, go to battle and get something out of it. Going into a fight with Anderson, I will gain things on a personal level. It might not make sense to people on paper, it might not make sense financially or career-wise, but it makes sense to me.
If Bruce Lee were reincarnated tomorrow, I would fight him. He weighs 135 pounds and it might not make sense to people, but a lot of hardcore martial artists would understand why I would want to do it.
ESPN: Do you think Anderson has knockout power against heavyweights?
Mir: That punch he landed on James Irvin looked like it landed pretty solidly. I have to think he does hit pretty hard. With those little gloves, it doesn't take a lot.
ESPN: Has anyone in a position of power actually approached you about this?
Mir: No. Not yet. I've even tried to ask a few people, and they go, "Well, just worry about Cheick Kongo right now." As soon as I heard about it, I was calling up my manager and asking, "Hey, is this serious? Because if it is, I want to let you know, please, full steam ahead." Why wouldn't I want it? It's not like you're asking me to fight Miguel Torres. If he shows up at 220 pounds, I'm between 245 and 255 pounds. That's not an outrageous size difference.
If I were him and wanted to pick a heavyweight, I'd probably pick Mirko "Cro Cop" first since you know "Cro Cop" would stand with him the entire time. But I think I'm a good and intelligent choice for him. Brock or Shane would be a dumb choice. They're not going to stand with him. They're going to pinch him against the cage, strip him down and beat him to death. It's not going to prove anything.
Me and him, we can move around and play a cat-and-mouse game. I'd be looking to land the heavier, more powerful shots, and he'd be looking to pick me apart, looking for angles. I think it makes for a very exciting, interesting match-up.
ESPN: And on the ground?
Mir: I'd rip his shoulder out of his socket. I roll with jiu-jitsu guys who are better technically than me in jiu-jitsu, but if I catch something, there's no getting it back.