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Frank Mir negotiating with Bellator MMA, eyes Fedor Emelianeko heavyweight showdown

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After 16 years fighting under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, Frank Mir received his walking papers last month and became a free agent.

With restrictions.

Mir is still under United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) suspension for failing this drug test, and he can not technically compete until April 17, 2018. Furthermore, part of his agreement with UFC in order to get his release was that he would agree not to fight anywhere until his two-year suspension was completely served.

Still, that can’t and won’t stop him from preparing a deal to be in place for his pending return, as he revealed on a recent edition of The MMA Hour that he is currently negotiating with Bellator MMA and Chechnya’s Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB), with which he often does commentary work for.

That said, Mir says he could fight before April of next year, but isn’t too sure what kind of legal action UFC can take against him.

“I probably could,” Mir said about fighting before his suspension is up (via MMA Fighting). “But I don't know what that would do as far as me coming back to fight in the states. It’s kind of a gray area. I don’t know what the UFC would do about me breaking the agreement,” he added.

For Mir, titles aren’t necessarily a priority anymore, as he is looking to get the biggest fights possible for the remainder of his career. And while he would like a trilogy fight against Brock Lesnar, that bout is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Not if this guy has any say in the matter.

A Heavyweight showdown against Fedor Emelianenko, though, is more feasible and Mir would love to throw down with “The Last Emperor” -- who suffered a first-round knockout loss to Matt Mitrione at Bellator 180 -- somewhere down the road.

“I think that would be a phenomenal fight to have on my name as far as somebody that I faced throughout my career,” Mir said. “Fedor is kind of hard to nail down to one company. So I don’t want to get in a situation where I’ve been the last 16 years where I’m like, ‘Hey, I’d like to make this fight work, but I fight for the UFC and he won’t fight for the UFC,’ so that sucks. It was never gonna happen. So I kind of want to avoid that pitfall in the future,” added the former two-time UFC heavyweight champion.

“Not only am I selling myself as a fighter, but I’m also selling potential opponents in the future. Like, ‘Hey if you sign me, this is a potential fight you could make.’”

At 38 years of age and having not competed in over a year, Frank says he is confident he has plenty left in the tank

“Absolutely,” Mir said. “I feel better now, physically and stuff. Competing is something that once I retire from, it’s not something I can go back and do. … I can’t wait to go back out there to compete.”

Mir vs. Fedor ... are you interested?

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