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Frank Mir still likes Brock Lesnar trilogy: ‘It makes a lot more sense than some other fights’

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Frank Mir has been under UFC suspension for a flagged drug test for 10 months now, and it sounds like, if anything, he’s less set on retiring than ever.

Back in April of last year, when Frank Mir was notified that he had been flagged by USADA for a drug test failure, one thought seemed to spring to the forefront: Retirement. For the then 36-year-old heavyweight, who started his career way back in 2001, a potential two years away from active competition seemed like a surefire career killer.

"That was probably my last time fighting," Mir said. ... "I don't see any other way around it. Age is catching up to me now. I'm not gonna get any younger in the next two years,” Mir said, when faced with the possibility of suspension.

But time heals all wounds, as the saying goes, And it seems that some time on the shelf has done more to reinvigorate Mir’s competitive drive rather than dampen it.

“No. Actually, if anything it just makes you want to compete more,” Mir told Sub Radio, when asked about his time away from competition. “Especially cause like taking the last ten months off, my body – I think hard training and we really don’t understand how to do it yet in MMA, I don’t think. I think that’s why you see so many guys hurt and taken off of cards, because we train at a different intensity than we would at just normal training to learn or to be in shape, and I think it causes a lot injuries. So when you train for fights, I think it’s accumulative damage. So now, you know, I’m still 37, I’m able to work out and just kind of look and still being so exposed to martial arts.

“I sit there now cageside, watching fights, calling them, doing analytical work, breaking them down. Richard (Hunter) and I are watching fights and breaking them down on the Phonebooth Fighting podcast, I get to see things. I’m like, wow, why did I do it this way if this is the easier way to do it? And I’ve obviously probably become more of my own head coach of recently, from like, well you know what, you need coaches to help you out, but really, like I don’t need to really re-invent the wheel, I kind of know what I’m doing. And having guys on the side as advisors is a great thing, but me trying to be humble and just empty my cup, I think I’m past that now. And so there’s things that I want to try.

“So now I’ve been in the gym, just training just to be healthy and move around. And it’s like, oh if I’m able to move and my brain and body can follow what my brain knows what to do, I’m pretty dangerous. It’s just that connection. And obviously in a few years that’s going to just take it’s course to where we’re seeing now where athletes can still perform as fighters in their early 40’s. Mark Hunt’s doing really well in his early 40’s. For all practical purposes I think Dan Henderson should probably be the middleweight champion right now. And so, but eventually, I mean let’s be realistic, saying you’re 50 and fighting at a high level probably is still kind of a stretch for human physiology.”

And since Mir is looking at the potential for a comeback, it’s worth wondering what might be waiting for him when his suspension comes due. Maybe another title run? Maybe Brock Lesner?

“Oh absolutely,” Mir said of a potential 3rd fight with Lesnar. “But I mean at this point, I just want to go out there and still compete and perform. So fighting Brock, obviously that would be a good money payday cause of his name recognition and the amount of people that would watch and the story behind it. So it makes a lot more sense than some other fights. But at this point, I just want to get back in there and compete.”
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“I think that’s a goal for everybody,” he continued, when asked about making a run at the title again. “I don’t know if you’re ever in fighting, that you don’t think that you want to go out there and win a title. At least I haven’t shifted in that mindset yet to where I’m just taking fights just to get paid for fights. I would like to go out there and still be able to perform at a really high level. And you only have so many years of competition and I want to get as many in as I can and have as much to enjoy.”

Frank Mir’s last fight was a KO loss to Mark Hunt back at UFC Fight Night Brisbane in March of 2016. Shortly after the fight, Mir tested positive for turinabol metabolites, something he chalks up to potentially ingesting tainted meat. He has yet to have an official suspension handed down by USADA, but expects to be back in competition in spring of 2018.