Frank Mir is known for a pair of battles with Brock Lesnar, among other great fights. Saturday night in Chicago, he’ll have a chance to face another legend: Fedor
Chicago, IL — Frank Mir returns from a long two-year layoff this Saturday at Bellator 198, making his Bellator MMA debut at the same time. The former UFC champion will be taking part in the promotion’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix, and getting a shot at a fellow legend in Fedor Emelianenko. It’s a fight many wanted about a decade ago, and while neither man is in his prime, it’s very much a “better late than never” situation.
Mir addressed the bout with the media in a scrum on Thursday, talking about ‘The Last Emperor’ and what a win over the Russian would mean to him. He also compared Fedor to his arch-rival Brock Lesnar.
“Fedor’s credentials are obviously legendary status, conversation as being the GOAT, [as far as] what he’s done,” the heavyweight said. “But as far marketing, Fedor’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy. It doesn’t sell itself. People aren’t as interested in that. Then you have Brock on the other side, who immediately gets title shots, one or two fights in.”
“His [Brock’s] contributions are not that high. But his marketing, he’s a powerhouse,” Mir suggested. “Until Conor came around, Brock was the biggest name in the sport. So it’s weird, they’re polarizing opposites.” Mir and Lesnar’s battle at UFC 100, the second fight between the pair, remains one of the biggest drawing MMA fights of all time on PPV.
Yet will a win over Fedor be something special regardless? It all depends on how the fight plays out. “If he goes out there and we have a phenomenal fight,” Mir said, “we both perform well, a victory in that situation, it’ll mean a lot.” However, Mir admits that if he clips Fedor and the Russian falls early, there’ll be plenty of critics. And those critics will sing a familiar tune: that the legend is not what he used to be.
Mir summed it up later, saying that “Fedor is less marketing, more danger,” is comparison to Lesnar.
So what’s the key to victory on Saturday at Bellator 198 then? “Bringing back old elements of my game,” Mir answered. “I started out as a karate guy,” he continued, but was advised against using tricks from the discipline. “Then watching some of the guys nowadays, it’s like ‘hey wait a minute, that does work!’ You just need to have certain fundamental adjustments.”
“Obviously boxing as well,” Mir would later add as a key to success.
If he can put all those together, Mir could have a shot at winning the tournament — if he can handle potential five round wars against wrestlers like Chael Sonnen, King Mo, or Ryan Bader. Mir admits it’s a concern, pointing out he’s best known for early finishes. Yet he looks to be in great shape, and stranger things have happened.
Time will tell. The journey back starts Saturday for Mir, when Bellator 198 goes down at the AllStar Arena in Chicago, IL. Check out Thursday’s scrum with Frank Mir above!