If it hits the ground, of course.
You had to know it wouldn't be long before Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Frank Mir started stirring the pot a little bit for his upcoming match up versus Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 26, 2012.
That time has come.
Mir spent a few minutes being interviewed by HDNet's "Inside MMA," discussing his next fight against "JDS," his strategy on how he plans to defeat him and the overall process of how he became part of the main event.
A high level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, Mir scored a legendary (and gruesome) submission against one of dos Santos' mentors, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, at UFC 140 on Dec. 10, 2011. It's no secret where he wants this fight to go, and according to Mir, dos Santos will do everything he can to avoid that aspect of the fight:
"Obviously, we're fighting a guy who's made his career now of not going to the ground. The only time I've ever seen him take a shot is if he's pretty handily winning the fight. He just does it to, maybe a change of pace to throw something out there. But as far as, you see when people engage him, he's a 'throw punches and run' kind of guy. He doesn't wanna sit there and get grabbed and taken down. He's not gonna fight that battle. If he was capable of doing it, we probably would've seen it already. The fact is that he avoids it like it's poison. I think for two reasons: One, I don't he's probably that very good on the ground, and two, he is so good on his feet."
More from Mir after the jump:
When it was announced that Alistair Overeem, dos Santos' original opponent, would be forced from the UFC 146 main event, Mir went on somewhat of a press tour, voicing his willingness to step up and be the replacement opponent, if the UFC needed him.
He talked about that process and how his mouth may have secured him the title bout:
"Well, you know, an opportunity arose, because it looked like Overeem wasn't gonna be able to be licensed to fight for the title. So, I just wanted to make sure that I spoke my mind. I opened up my mouth and I said what I'm sure every other heavyweight in the UFC has to feel, that I want to fight for the title."
Mir believed he was ready to take this fight on short notice, due to the kind of training he'd been doing for Cain Velasquez, who he was previously scheduled to face on the same UFC 146 card. Additionally, he'd always kept the possibility in the back of his mind, because anything can happen in mixed martial arts (MMA):
"Well, you know what, because I was scheduled to fight Cain Velasquez already, on May 26, two things entered my mind. One, Cain Velasquez is known for having a gas tank. So, even if you're in a fight and you're beating him, first, second round, the guy can always come back. He has a phenomenal ability just to drive forward. You saw that with Cheick Kongo. Even though he was hit by him and hurt, he was able to come back and, by attrition, came forward. And so, we were already preparing for what we expected to be a hard, gritty battle. And on top of that, we had already told the coaches, 'Hey, you know what? It happens all the time in MMA.' The UFC is flooded with stories of main events being changed over due to injuries. Since I'm already fighting on the card with the heavyweight battles being taken on, why not be ready? I don't wanna take a chance to where, a week out, three or four days out -- sometimes the day before, you fight out that someone can't compete and someone has to step up, and I wanted to be able to do so."
Throughout this whole campaing, Mir has repeatedly stated that he believes dos Santos will be an easier fight for him than was Velasquez. It's hard to say if he really believes it or if he's just trying to convince himself. Either way, he wasn't changing his tune:
"Well, Velasquez, I think, is an excellent boxer and wrestler. I think he's really well-rounded. I know that he count against dos Santos. A lot of people knock his boxing skills, but a couple fights before, he was knocking Nogueira out, within a minute. So, I really thought that was a bad interpretation of what Velasquez brought. The only difference that I feel with dos Santos is that dos Santos is the better boxer, quicker hands. He just isn't as multi-faceted as Velasquez is. As far as, when you fight dos Santos, I don't think it's any secret, he has no chance of winning the fight if it goes to the ground. If we go into a wrestling match, he's in trouble. He has to keep it where he's best at, and you know, he's the best boxer in the heavyweight division."
Finally, Mir talked for a minute about his strategy on how he believes he will defeat "Cigano" on May 26. He's aware of the champion's strengths, and will be looking to do all he can not to fuel his momentum:
"I agree. I think if you move away from him, in the past when you see anyone move back, he gains momentum coming forward and is able to generate that much more power. I think the best way to fight him is, you know, take how (Evander) Holyfield fought Mike Tyson. You can't back up on a guy who's very powerful and very quick. It only gives him momentum to build forward. You have to come forward and crash."
MMAmania.com will continue to keep you updated on all the developments regarding Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir, as well as all the other news circulating around UFC 146.
For a full archive of news surrounding the UFC 146 event click here.