Two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, who signed with Bellator MMA in August, spoke to RT Sport about the organization’s heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, which he’ll take part in alongside seven other notable fighters.
In April of this year, Mir accepted a two-year suspension handed down by the United States Ant-Doping Agency. Mir, 38, tested positive for a long-term metabolite of dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT), following an in-competition test conducted on March 20, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane, Australia.
He is eligible to return to action in March 2018 just in time for the Bellator Grand Prix. It appears as if Mir will face MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the opening round.
“I think he’s still extremely dangerous. He did everything he does normally. You see how fast he threw the right hand on Mitrione. The difference is everyone else just have gotten a lot better. If Matt Mitrione would fight 10 years ago in Pride, he would have been one of the best fighters in Pride, if we grab Mitrione we are seeing now and put him back there. Back then guys were either good boxers, wrestlers, jiu jitsu guys. You didn’t have a lot of guys who were good at everything. Which Fedor is. He’s good at everything. And now he has to deal with the fact that everybody now is good at everything. There are very few guys that fight at the top level of MMA, that you can say that ‘oh he has zero stand-up’ or ‘oh he has zero ground,’ or ‘he can’t wrestle.’ We don’t really use those terms anymore. Everybody has different athleticism, different mindsets, backgrounds, different personalities. Just like in boxing – not everybody fights the same, even though everybody boxes. (Guillermo) Rigondeaux and (Vasiliy) Lomachenko fight differently, but they’re still boxers. So within MMA, we’re all MMA artists now. And you don’t really have people with blurring holes. So to underestimate Fedor would be a crazy mistake. Watching him on the countdown (videos) to that fight, hitting the bag, working out. What I’ve seen him still doing, I still think he’s a great fighter. I just think that the rest of the world has caught up, so he is not light years ahead of everybody, like he was 10 years ago.”
Roy Nelson, Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, Chael Sonnen, Matt Mitrione, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, and Ryan Bader are also names that have been matched up in the event set to take place next year.