Frank Mir exuded confidence in a recent interview with MMA Weekly. Mir doesn't seem to believe that Brock Lesnar's skills match up with the champion's hype:
"I think he's improved a little bit, but I still think it takes a long time. No one picks this up in four or five fights," said the UFC interim heavyweight titleholder. "What fighter have you seen yet that in four fights is unbelievably technical? We can go through any weight class you want.
"Lets look at Urijah Faber at his fourth or fifth fight. What was he compared to what he is now? If we go to Miguel Torres, if we go to St. Pierre, you can pick the best fighters in the world. How good are they on their fifth fight compared to how good they are now," asked Mir. "We're talking about world-class guys. We're talking BJ Penn's and stuff. Let's be realistic - Matt Hughes. Come on. If Brock Lesnar is able to be a world-class mixed martial artist on his fifth fight, that means he's the best mixed martial artist pound-for-pound that ever came into MMA. That's a pretty steep statement there. We're talking you're up there with Anderson Silva and St. Pierre and Miguel Torres. That's a pretty long, tall list to be on top of."
"If he does it, I'll be impressed out of my mind," he added.
The interim heavyweight champion believes he can defeat Lesnar standing or on the ground:
"My striking, now, is up to a level that I don't think his is at. My jiu-jistu's still at a level I don't think his is at. Obviously he can out wrestle me, but it's kind of like, okay, pick your poison," stated the former UFC heavyweight titleholder. "Do you want to stand with me? I can't take Brock down. If Brock wants to stand on our feet, it will be a stand-up war. Does he really want to stand up with me? Okay, Nogueira's a much better boxer than he is and we saw what happened there. At the same time, does he want to shoot and take me down? That might not be the best thing either. So, he's kind of really in a weird situation.
"I'm kind of curious what his plans will be, so I'm just preparing to go ahead and beat him at the stand-up and beat him on the ground."
This is really setting up to be an interesting rematch. Every fight that Brock Lesnar takes is a huge event, not just because he's extremely popular, but also because he is relatively inexperienced as a mixed martial artist. At the same time, Frank Mir continually has to prove that he's a legitimate top level heavyweight.
I realize that a lot of people are of the opinion that Nogueira's poor showing in the fight allowed Mir to look more impressive than he actually is. That may be true to a certain extent. However, I will give Mir his due. He was in shape and executed a flawless gameplan. That, in and of itself, leads me to believe that he may have something in his arsenal to combat Brock Lesnar. We shall see if a well prepared Mir can overcome the enormous hurdle that is the UFC heavyweight champion.