Lesnar has had his health to concentrate on in recent months,
but that doesn’t mean the UFC heavyweight champion has missed
Mir’s campaign to secure a third bout with him.
“I don’t think I beat him as bad as I could, so for me to get my
hands on that stalker again … Frank Mir has
made it a mission of his life, Frank Mir the
stalker. It’s been a while since I’ve had a stalker, but we’ll take
care of that if I ever face him again,” Lesnar said during a
Wednesday conference call.
Mir and Lesnar have built a palpable rivalry together. In February
2008, Mir submitted Lesnar with a kneebar in 90 seconds at UFC 81
in Las Vegas. Then, Lesnar defeated Mir in brutal fashion during
the second round of their title reunification rematch at UFC 100
Both have exchanged critical words of one another in and out of the
cage, while Mir had publicly lamented that Lesnar’s recent battle
with an intestinal infection might have prevented a rubber match
with the heavyweight champion.
In Lesnar’s absence, the UFC has elected to have Mir face Shane
Carwin for the division’s interim title at UFC 111 on March 27
in Newark, N.J. The winner of the bout is slated to face Lesnar
next, while a Feb. 20 bout between Antonio
Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain
Velasquez has been earmarked as a reserve bout as well.
Lesnar said Wednesday that he wouldn’t speculate on whom he thinks
might advance from the interim matchup.
“I can’t blow on any of that. That’s the future and that’s the
beauty of it,” said Lesnar. “I’ll just sit back. I’ll sharpen my
skills. I’ll be prepared for either one of those guys. If it’s
Nogueria or if it’s Velasquez, I know one thing -- all those guys
are s---tting their pants right now.
Lesnar, who lost 40 pounds during his recent fight with
diverticulosis, said that whoever emerges as his next challenger
will have a renewed fighter on his hands.
“I had a hard time getting out of bed and walking to a bathroom.
I’d be out of breath,” said Lesnar of his illness. “Ironically, I
think (the ordeal) raised my conditioning level. I was really at
the bottom of the barrel, and now I’m back in the gym. I’m helping
(two-time NCAA wrestling champion) Cole Konrad and Chris
Tuchscherer ... and I feel great. I feel like my old self again.”