"I understand -- everyone is quick to downplay anyone who is successful. Let's be realistic: I was 245 [pounds], yes, for the last fight. Two weeks later I was already 260 [pounds] because of what it took me to be 245 [pounds], if you look at my body fat percentage, I dieted down. I had the mentality that well, I'm going to have to be a cardio freak and every extra pound is going to count against me. So if it's not pure muscle it's a waste of my time. [Coming in to the Brock Lesnar rematch] it was the leanest I have ever been for a fight. So like any guy who is cutting weight you skyrocket back up to your natural weight [shortly thereafter]. When I showed up at Mark Phillipe's I weighed in at 261 [pounds]. That's just my natural body weight. I'm not really a 245-pound guy -- that's just me cardio'ed out of my mind and watching everything I ate. If you look at those 10 pounds you have to look at what percentage of that is muscle -- my body fat obviously increased [for the Checik Kongo fight] because I was nowhere near as lean as I was for UFC 100. You put on blood volume because you increased the size. On a fluid level you retain more fluid. It's not really that farfetched for a guy my size. It's just that the average human being is well below 200 pounds so it may be hard for a lot of people to fathom. Mark Phillipe is a huge man himself and he's always been a drug-free athlete. He's never had to use that to compete with and he's in the upper echelon. That's kind of why I chose him because I see guys who are out there that are super strong, but let's face it, the guy is 280 pounds and 6 percent body fat ... and that's probably not natural.... The UFC drug tests the hell out of us. I get drug tested before and after the fight. And I get randomly drug tested all the time because I'm under contract with the UFC. I'm sure there is a way around everything, but that's a lot of stress. That means you're worrying how to get around that and you have to fight in a couple of hours. Fighting is stressful enough as it is, [worrying about a drug test] is just not necessary."
Former UFC heavyweight champion responds to recent speculation that he got a little help from a banned/illegal substance to bulk up for his last fight against Check Kongo at UFC 107 earlier this month. For the first time ever Mir had to drop a few pounds to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit. And it wasn't because he was overweight or out of shape like he was when he beat Dan Christison via lackluster unanimous decision back in 2006. On the contrary, he we was clearly more muscular and beefed up, which he attributes to a new strength and conditioning program administered by America’s Strongest Man winner and 15-year collegiate strength coach, Mark Philippi. It appeared to do the trick -- he dropped Kongo early in the first round with a big punch and finished him shortly thereafter with a guillotine choke. Mir has made it clear that he wanted to put on size to level the playing field when it comes to the rubber match with ailing heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, whenever he is able to return to competition. In the meantime, Mir will likely to continue to get stronger as he prepares to battle super-sized Shane Carwin in a titanic clash tentatively penciled in for March 2010. Will Mir's new muscles be the difference maker against Carwin or should he concentrate more on refining the skills that have got him this far in his career like jiu-jitsu and boxing?