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Frank Mir on wanting release from UFC contract: 'I want to be able to compete in other things'

Former heavyweight champion Frank Mir has been a UFC fighter for over 15 years, but that might not be the case for much longer.

Mir (18-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC), who’d already talked about how cutting ties with the promotion would probably work out for the best during his ongoing two-year suspension, told MMAjunkie Radio on Tuesday that he’s still looking to be released from his contract in order to try his hand at different types of competition.

“I think that Bellator and WSOF – Bellator, especially, I think the fact that they have those open contracts to where they allow their guys to fight as long as you’re not a champ and be able to compete in other areas,” Mir said. “I think that’s a great thing, because the UFC really wants to lock people down and not let you fight, which, if you need to make a name for yourself and you want to be out there, I guess is a sacrifice you have to make.

“But I think it hurts you as martial artist and that’s what I want to be, a good martial artists. I want to be able to compete in other things. I have a very strong interest in doing kickboxing matches, because I want to test stand-up in just a stand-up round, where taking the shot and putting the fight on the ground is not an option. I think that would really test my skills and ability, and make me have to rise to become a better martial artist.”

That, the ex-champ said, was “never going to be allowed” as long as he stayed with the promotion that first signed him back in 2001 – when he was only two fights into his pro MMA career. Mir says he is yet to get a reply on his request to be released, but, in any case, it doesn’t seem like a renewal is in the plans.

“When I get done with the suspension I’ll just fight out my contract and be able to move other places afterward,” Mir said.

The heavyweight is currently halfway through a two-year suspension issued after he tested positive for a prohibited substance in his knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 85 in Brisbane, Australia, last March.

Mir, who’s maintained his innocence from the start, also talked about the process of trying to prove there was no wrong-doing on his end.

According to Mir, he tested the supplements ingested by him during the six-week period between his out-of-competition negative test and the positive one. The problem, he says, is that it could take years of increasingly refined tests and thousands of dollars to figure out between an array of substances that could break into the metabolite found in his system.

While he understands USADA’s role, the heavyweight believes the odds are rather stacked against the athlete in a system that, unlike what happens in an actual court of law, has the regulatory body play “judge, jury and executioner.”

“I guess because of being a USA citizen, I’m very much into ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ and they’re very much the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach,” Mir said. “Which, again, I understand. I’m not happy being on this side of it, but their only function in the world is drug testing.

“That’s why they have very much of a, they have all the power on their side, with none on the side of the athlete. That goes why that they’ll never be able to work for the NFL, but the players’ union wants it to be much more equal and they don’t have that.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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