Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir hasn't won a fight since December 2011, and having previously gone his entire career without losing consecutive fights, he now stares at the possibility of four successive defeats if he can't get past Alistair Overeem this Saturday at UFC 169 in Newark. It's a fight seen as a stylistic nightmare for Mir, who has lost by KO or TKO in 7 of his 8 losses, going up against Overeem's powerful striking and great takedown defense. In an interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Mir discussed the dreaded retirement talk, and why he's going to continue fighting regardless of the outcome on Saturday:
"I kind of know no matter what it's not going to be my last fight," Mir told ESPN.com. "I'm still younger than a lot of the guys in the division.
"There are two ways I would consider retirement. One is losing to guys who are not top-level competition. The other is if I started losing where it's like, 'OK man, you were knocked out viciously and staring at the rafters.' I won't endanger my health."
Mir's current skid includes Junior dos Santos (TKO), Daniel Cormier (UD), and Josh Barnett (TKO). Definitely not a bad set of opponents to lose to, and Mir still contests that the Josh Barnett fight was an early stoppage:
"I'm sorry if those three losses aren't killing my ego," Mir said. "Let's see, the losing streak started with Junior dos Santos, the No. 1 heavyweight in the world at the time. Then I lost to Cormier in a pretty boring fight and then to Barnett, which to me was a no-contest because the fight had a very controversial stoppage.
"Look at who I've fought. I should retire? Wow. We'd only have five guys in every weight class because everybody else would need to retire."
The odds of Mir ever being a serious title contender again are slim and none, but it'll be interesting to see how the UFC will handle his future. If he loses then that's 4 straight in a weak division, and they could conceivably cut him. Alternatively, they could put him in a gatekeeper role and book him for fights outside of the current top 10 (meaning Brendan Schaub, Pat Barry, Gabriel Gonzaga, Soa Palelei, etc.). Quite frankly, I'm partial to that idea even if he wins.
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