The former two-time heavyweight titleholder -- for the first time in his 13-year mixed martial arts (MMA) career -- is coming off back-to-back losses to Junior dos Santos and Daniel Cormier, and could be in danger of suffering three straight as he takes on longtime veteran Josh Barnett at UFC 164 on Aug. 31, 2013, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Those recent setbacks would probably deflate the confidence of most 34-year old MMA veterans, and would likely force them to take a different path for the remainder of their combat sports careers, like filling up space on an event in order to obtain a paycheck.
Not Mir, who declared during the UFC 164 media conference call that he still has championship dreams and isn't ready to give up on them just yet.
"I don't concede the fact of just trying to put on great fights. Obviously, the outcome of my drive is to actually work back towards the title. I don't see it as a situation where that's no longer within my grasp. The training I'm doing now, where I'm at in life, being only 34 years of age, I don't really see it as an issue to concede to the fact that 'Oh I'm only going to fight to be an entertaining fight just added onto a card.' That's just not where I'm at in my life."
Mir recently decided to switch things up and head down to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get some training under the tutelage of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn prior to his UFC on FOX 7 clash against Cormier.
And though the results didn't prove successful, coming up short on the judges' scorecards to "DC," the partnership with Jackson and Co. is still intact as Mir heads into his bout against a man hell-bent on proving he's still one of the best big men in all of MMA.
With a win over an established veteran such as Barnett, Mir can keep his title dreams a reality. A loss, however, could prove to be a nightmare not only for his title aspirations, but also to his career.