Long-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Frank Mir announced during a recent interview on "The MMA Hour" that he has asked for his official release from his contract with the Zuffa-owned mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion after he was suspended two years for failing a drug test after a losing effort against Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 85.
Since that means he will no longer be able to fight until 2018 or take part in any broadcasting gigs with UFC, Mir feels the best course of action is to move on with his career in some other capacity.
He breaks it down:
"As of right now I'm under suspension, as of April 2018. I'll be eligible to fight again the UFC, and even more, as troubling as that is, also they have it to where I can't do any broadcasting. Not that I was ever going to get it in there, just because I've been asking for several years since the WEC since put this in the rotation, and now they even have more reason to not put me in the rotation. So right now I'd like to be released by the UFC so I can go off and continue my career in other avenues."
As far as appealing his two-year suspension, Mir says he will not bother since the stipulations put forth meant he had to come out of pocket for more testing and trips to Japan to be present during the testing. All said, Mir says it got too expensive.
And when he has kids to raise and support, he wants to be able to keep whatever money he has left in his savings account, all while trying to find other avenues that will allow him to make a living.
"I didn't see any advantage or course of action that would have been conclusive or really had any percentages on my side where I could win. They came in and grabbed the supplements and I was under the impression that they were going to test them and then they notified me that no. Just kind of our long thought process when they said that I could be present when the B sample was opened in the same lab here in Tokyo. But, it would be my responsibility to get down there. And that's when I brought up, 'Well why don't you guys send it to a lab in the U.S. that is WADA approved that is a little bit easier and a little more convenient for me to attend?' It accomplishes many goals, like it would be a different lab technician and a little bit easier for me to get to Salt Lake City than it would be for me to get to Tokyo. Even when the samples, they said they collected them, but it's up to me to test them. They said, 'You have to foot the bill and you pay for it out of pocket.' Same thing with getting an attorney that represents me. It's starting to look very expensive to fight, and if at the end of it I'm still suspended and I'm not allowed to fight or broadcast, I have to start to think about my savings as something I have to sit back on and I have children. I made a calculated decision to go ahead and forego trying to battle it anymore. Now, the only option I really see is that, even if it was a reduced sentence of one year, I have children that are very active, are in private school and different endeavors and fighting and with no work for a year, let alone two years, it's not feasible. So hopefully UFC releases me so I can go on and follow broadcasting, fighting and different avenues."
Mir said he put the wheels in motion for his eventual release a few weeks ago. The only response he's received from the promotion is that he has to wait until ZUFFA lawyers go back and review all paperwork to see what is allowed and what isn't.
It was a mind-boggling response, according to Mir, who is under the impression UFC has the final word in the matter, just like it did when Brock Lesnar was allowed to forego a four-month drug testing period. That said, Mir said he is being very patient since UFC higher ups have a lot on their plates at the moment with UFC 200 and rumors of a potential sale.
If he does gets his release, Mir says while he will appreciate it, it will hurt him knowing this is how his stellar 15-year run with the promotion came to an end.