9 Questions for Frank Mir

Learning from Mistakes

By Jack Encarnacao May 28, 2011
Frank Mir (right) and Brock Lesnar have a long-standing feud. | Photo: Sherdog.com

Sherdog.com: How much time do you put into thinking about what you’re going to say about an opponent in media interviews before a fight?
Mir: Honestly, I think it would shock a lot of people. I’ve probably put more thought into it in the last year or so, and I think that they’re actually not as good. Before, I would fly off the cuff and just be talking. I’ve been doing interviews since I was 21 years old in the UFC, so I think I’ve kind of established like a talking to my buddy or a friend and be as candid as possible [approach]. Now, I try to be a little bit more calculated about what I say and what the impact is, and I try to have foresight. Sometimes, it’s like in a fight; if you think too hard about things, I think it actually limits you a little bit, so I’m trying to find the correct balance.

Sherdog.com: In February 2010, you said in an interview that you wanted to break Brock Lesnar’s neck and make him the first Octagon death. Looking back, what are your feelings about that whole episode?
Mir: Taking it too far, very poorly said and obviously with the right intentions as far as always trying to be interesting and sell fights. But at the same time, there has to be a certain amount of responsibility in anything that comes out of my mouth, and that was done in very poor taste. I think [UFC President] Dana [White] was very understanding in that, hey, this is a learning process for all of us. I wasn’t born in this arena. It wasn’t like I came from a family [of] high-profile athletes. Dana White is the same. I think Dana does a very good job of trying to mentor us through. Obviously, there’s Dana the promoter, but there’s also the Dana that we all have his personal cell phone number; we can call and ask questions and ask what’s really going on and what’s being said. I’m actually pretty happy with how the situation was handled. I’m just embarrassed that it had to be handled in the first place and I didn’t know better. It’s one of those things where like, damn, why did I … how stupid could I possibly be?

Sherdog.com: When you saw Lesnar contract diverticulitis and almost die, what was your reaction, given it sounds like you guys haven’t resolved your differences?
Mir: I feel very bad for him. Here’s somebody who had so much potential to provide for his family a very good living. But he makes his money as an athlete, whether he’s going to go into pro wrestling or stick with UFC; his body is the means to most of his revenue, and it’s going to take a hit, I would have to assume, through being sick. So I just feel for another man who has children and a wife and wants to provide for them. That’s personally my worst nightmare, is not being able to provide for my family. I think as a man, that’s how I measure myself. I don’t want to have my kids to say, “Hey, I want this,” and I’m, like, “Well, we can’t afford that today.” That would drive me insane.

Sherdog.com: Around the Lesnar fights, you tested several theories about how important strength and muscles are for a modern heavyweight. Have you resolved that question at this point in your life?
Mir: As far as the weight thing, I think I’ve just kind of settled on the fact that I am a larger human being now because I never focused so well on strength training and my body has just picked it up naturally. I’m genetically blessed in that sense; that what another person would have to give twice as much effort for I get out of half the effort. The biggest change that I finally came to a conclusion on was probably the dieting. In the last year and a half, how I ate was probably one of the biggest arguments my wife and I had. I went everywhere from not having any kind of diet, self-admittedly going to Del Taco every day, to trying to be a body builder-type: diet, protein and no fat and no carbs at the end of the night. That’s not really an athletic [diet]. Then I went all the way to a vegetarian. I was on that kick for a little bit. Then I even took it a step further and became a full-blown vegan; for about a year, since the Carwin fight up until after the Mirko fight, which is actually what led into the transition of “Oh, maybe I could make it [at] light heavyweight.” You could try to do as much as you want in the vegan diet to try to get protein into your system, but there’s still nothing like certain forms of animal protein that the body really does need. So now I eat healthy. Robb Wolf’s book “Paleo Diet” -- I’ve done that probably about 90 percent. It came around full circle to the Mediterranean diet, which is how my wife ate when I met her. She said this is just a sensible way to eat; a lot of vegetables. They eat meat, but it’s not a mainstay of their diet; a lot monounsaturated fats and oils such as from olives, limited on the dairy and cheese. So basically the Mediterranean diet is what my kids and my wife have been doing the whole time, and finally I came back. But that’s how I learn things. That’s the difference between me and a lot of other guys. Guys will say, “Hey, I do it this way.” And I’m like, well, why? “Because the guy that taught me did it that way.” I don’t consider that critical thinking. Some things I’ll take advice on. I don’t need to find out firsthand that jumping off a six-story building is going to hurt. But certain things … there’s so many different things out there, especially when it comes to diet or working out. It’s, like, you know, research things and give it an honest effort and find out how it works for you. And so I have that approach, which drives a lot of people, trainers around me, insane. They’re like, so, “What’s the new kick this week?” The mad scientist -- they keep nicknaming me. I’m constantly trying new things out.
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