Frank Mir: Heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos can't escape the fear of what might happen (Yahoo! Sports)


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

(This is the second of four blogs from former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, who takes on current champ Junior dos Santos for the title at UFC 146.)

Motivation surrounds me every minute of every day. Even when I'm not training or focusing on my next fight, I still couldn't be more motivated. On my days off, I'll ride my Harley, hang out at the cigar shop with my father and a couple of friends, or simply sit outside my house and watch my kids play – all of it is inspiration and motivation to me.

As far as my opponent's motivation, I highly doubt Junior dos Santos has my picture on a dartboard and is using it to inspire him between training sessions. Yes, my win over his teacher and training partner, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, will have hurt him, but I'd imagine Junior will be far more concerned with the fact I can do something similar to him and take his UFC title. That should be all the motivation he needs. If he's smart, the “revenge” factor shouldn't even need to come into it.

[Related: Frank Mir: Change of opponents hasn't altered gameplan]

Still, maybe dos Santos knows that if we go to the ground at any point in our fight on May 26, there is a big risk of me doing to him what I did to Nogueira in December. He can't escape that fear. Nogueira is the guy who taught Junior all he knows about jiu-jitsu. If I was able to submit Nogueira, someone who has never been tapped out before, the chances of dos Santos surviving on the ground with me look pretty bleak.

Ultimately, that Nogueira result could either instill fear or knowledge in dos Santos. It may force him to become edgy and scared of going to the ground with me, or it could force him to become even more switched on and to avoid all the things Nogueira did wrong against me. It all really depends on how well-equipped dos Santos is when the fight hits the ground. As of today, none of us really know. We've never seen him go there.

Believe me, there are a lot of guys in the world who are very proficient and talented jiu-jitsu players in the gym, but are unable to apply it when it comes time to step inside the Octagon. This can be due to a number of reasons. They might not know how to apply it to a fighting situation, or they may just not feel confident using what has only been mastered on mats in the gymnasiums. Whatever the reason, there are many fighters out there who boast black belts, yet are unable to demonstrate their prowess when it really matters.

Of course, when it comes to dos Santos, this lack of ground action could be one of two things. Either he really loves boxing and, although is able to submit opponents, doesn't feel the need. Or, he desperately tries to stay standing and striking for a reason, perhaps because his ground game is in some way lacking. Because we've seen so little evidence of his ground game, none of us can really know for sure.

What I will say is this – dos Santos doesn't owe anybody anything when it comes to proving his ground game. Nobody in their right mind would go into a fight and jeopardize winning in order to make some kind of statement or prove a point. That would be absolutely ludicrous. No, dos Santos is doing what he's doing right now and it's working great for him. He punches harder and better than any other heavyweight in the world, no question, and that skill alone is winning him fights and cleaning out the division. Right now it doesn't matter whether he has a ground game or not, as nobody has forced him to use it. I can tell you right now, if I'm able to win fights purely with my Plan A, I'm not going to revert to Plan B just to show I've got one.

On May 26, it is my job to put dos Santos in situations and spots that require him to forget Plan A and prove himself elsewhere. The game plan is very simple, in fact. We know exactly what dos Santos can do, and we know he does it very well, but the unknowns in this fight give me a lot of confidence.

I am as good on the ground as dos Santos is on his feet, and if there is one guy who can truly discover the value of this guy's black belt, it's me …

Follow @thefrankmir on Twitter for all the latest news ahead of his bout at UFC 146

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Jason Cole: Many late NFL draft picks aren't making what they could
Kerry Wood expected to quit after pitching once more for Cubs this season
Video: Mix of young and old elevates Spurs to greatness

view original article >>

Related News

  • 29 days ago
  • 44 views

Every UFC fighter steps into the Octagon with the hope of elevating themselves to a UFC title shot. But what happens when there's a major roadblock in the way? That's the situation in which guys like Junior dos Santos and Urijah Faber find themselves. The end result of fighting is always to push up the rankings, but for these guys, there's only so far they can go. The fighters on this list find themselves in a bit of limbo in that they can defeat nearly every contender thrown their way, but UFC more

  • 8 days ago
  • 1066 views

Will the fifteenth time be the charm? Alistair Overeem will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50, which is scheduled for Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard, Conn., on Sept. 5, 2014. Overeem -- who is now 100-percent healthy -- recently returned to the win column at UFC 169 with a decision win over Frank Mir after suffering back-to-back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne in 2013. He'll look to make it two straight wins when he faces more

  • 26 days ago
  • 84 views

Ear Muffs! "Big Brown" isn't too happy with EA Sports for leaving him off the new UFC video game. If while scrolling through the heavyweight roster on the new EA Sports UFC video game, you perhaps caught yourself wondering why you can't choose Brendan Schuab as a playable character, you're not alone. "Big Brown" himself was baffled as to why he was left off the roster, but seems to think that the contract negotiations he was going through with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) while the game more

  • 12 days ago
  • 42 views

Brazil’s Tiago dos Santos is set to meet Akbarh Arreola, from Mexico, at UFC on FOX 12, which finalizes the card with 12 fights later this month in San Jose.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 7 days ago
  • 58 views

Former Strikeforce and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem still wants a piece of former UFC heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos, even though his next opponent is already booked. The Reem briefly mentioned his desire to square off with the Brazilian power puncher when he appeared on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, per Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting. "I'm focused and I want to really fight," Overeem said. "I'm very optimistic [a bout with dos Santos] is going to come and I want it to come. I could see more

  • 27 days ago
  • 45 views

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is just nine days away from her next title defense, but she admits it’s hard not to think about the fight after that – or even the one after that.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more

  • 27 days ago
  • 108 views

Ronda Rousey says she can beat any BJJ girl in the world, regardless of rules or weight class. UFC champion Ronda Rousey is certainly no stranger to making bold statements about her skills. Whether it's flat out saying she will dominate her UFC opponents, to saying that under the right circumstances she can beat Cain Velasquez, it's just the type of confidence that some athletes have to have with themselves. The former Olympic Judoka is set to face a BJJ black belt in Alexis Davis next, and as s more

  • 27 days ago
  • 56 views

Rico Verhoeven is the new GLORY World Heavyweight Champion after beating Daniel Ghita at GLORY LAST MAN STANDING this past weekend. Ghita stays in the contender picture but won't be Verhoeven's first challenger. So who will it be? Here's five possible options GLORY could consider. Rico Verhoeven won the GLORY World Heavyweight Championship in the headline bout of the LAST MAN STANDING card, going 2-0 over his close rival Daniel Ghita in successive fights. The win takes Verhoeven out of the ranki more

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

We've taken a look at the UFC's heavyweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions. Today, we move down to what has historically been considered the UFC's marquee division: the light heavyweights. Like the heavyweight division, 205 is ruled by a title holder with an iron fist. But there are plenty of challengers waiting in the wings and even a few interesting prospects who could make some noise over the next few years. Let's take a look. The Title Picture Jon Jones The UFC has nearly reached th more