Frank Mir file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
In a post-fight interview with ESPN’s Michael Woods UFC foreman Dana White indicated that he’d be well within his rights in dismissing Frank Mir following Mir’s woeful performance against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic on Saturday. (If you didn’t see the fight, don’t bother; if you did see the fight, then you still didn’t see a fight.)
"Sure [I’d consider cutting him],” White said. “You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job. Once ‘Cro Cop’ stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor.”
And on the subject of respecting athletes who risk their necks: "When people say, 'Hey, these guys put their lives on the line,' that's a crock of sh-t. This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!"
Last thing first: while MMA is far and away the safest of all combat sports -- football included -- that’s not to be confused with “safe.” No activity where your brain is getting bounced around like a ping pong ball is like picking flowers. But White is correct in that it’s a voluntary activity -- and if you volunteer for a dangerous job, it’s on you.
The threat of cutting Mir follows what White said following Anderson Silva’s repugnant performance in Abu Dhabi against Demian Maia in April: the message is that no one is so big or so important that they can’t be clipped for putting on a horrible climax to what was otherwise a solid program. The problem is that Mir’s results -- he remains the only man to beat Brock Lesnar -- and gift for hyping bouts would be of service to competing promotions. The price for White making an example of Mir would be CBS grabbing attention with a Mir/Fedor Emelianenko proposal. Letting fighters loose after a win doesn’t give you a lot of leverage.
Mir had a bad showing. It happens. MMA is a job, and you’re allowed the occasional bad day at the office: prior to “The Ultimate Fighter” boosting business in 2005, the UFC had many of them.