Mir Buying in Bulk Against Carwin

By Brian Knapp Mar 16, 2010
Much was made about Frank Mir’s decision to add some 20 pounds of muscle to his frame in advance of his UFC 107 matchup with Cheick Kongo. However, the brief bout with the chiseled French kickboxer lasted barely more than a minute and shed little light on whether or not a bulkier Mir was a better Mir.

That figures to change when he takes on the hulking Shane Carwin in the UFC 111 “St. Pierre vs. Hardy” co-main event on March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

“Carwin’s been an athlete his size a lot longer than I’ve been at mine,” Mir said during a Tuesday teleconference to promote the interim heavyweight title bout. “The greatest indication of whether [adding more weight has] been beneficial will be whether or not I can negate some of his strength.”

One of the more powerful competitors in the heavyweight division, the undefeated Carwin has not competed in more than a year. He believes the time off will prove helpful in his quest to reach the pinnacle of the division.

“The time off has given me a year of technique to work on,” Carwin said. “I’ve been able to work on a lot of different aspects of the game and become a more complete fighter.”

Carwin last appeared in March 2009, when he knocked out former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga in 69 seconds at UFC 96. The 35-year-old Colorado-based heavyweight has stopped all 11 of his opponents inside one round, but it was his performance against Gonzaga that caught Mir’s eye.

“The first time you see people under adversity you find out whether or not they’re going to make it,” Mir said. “Shane was in a little trouble early in that fight. He was in a bad position, with his back on the mat. And within 30 seconds of being in that bad spot, he won the fight by knockout. That’s when I realized he was somebody to be reckoned with.”

Carwin understands the challenge in front of him. Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, holds victories against three of the sport’s most accomplished big men: current titleholder Brock Lesnar, two-time former champion Tim Sylvia and Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

“He’s a legend in the sport,” Carwin said. “He’s one of the few fighters who has been around the sport a long time and evolved with it. I know he’s motivated. I’m glad I’m going to be fighting the best Frank Mir out there.”

Mir sees a number of similarities between Carwin and Lesnar, the man who stopped him with brutal second-round ground-and-pound at UFC 100 in July. A two-time collegiate national champion in wrestling, Carwin wields one-punch knockout power in his oversized hands.

“I realized the mistakes I’ve been making,” Mir said. “If I make the same mistakes against Carwin, it’s going to be a short night also.”
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