In the wake of UFC 130 on Saturday night Dana White was surprisingly critical of co-main event star Frank Mir despite chalking up a comprehensive unanimous decision win over Roy Nelson.
“To be honest with you I was disappointed with both of their performances,” White told Ariel Helwani backstage.
“If they were earlier in the card… but being in the co-main and the main event position is when you take the most criticism. When you’re the co-main or the main event, you’ve got to go out there and perform and look good. When you don’t, you’re going to hear my opinion about it.”
However, 24 hours later after having had time to reflect on the fight White had a different take on it.
“I think I was a little harsh on Mir,” White confessed to MMAJunkie. “He came into that fight with the perfect gameplan, and he nailed Roy with some big shots. Mir dominated that fight from start to finish, and he deserves some credit for that.”
In fairness the two biggest fights on the card did turn out to be a little underwhelming and White points to that as the main reason he was overly-critical of the former champion post-fight.
“The main event and co-main event just didn’t really wow that crowd, and you know how I get. I think I was just a little frustrated last night that we didn’t end on a high note, and I was probably too hard on Mir.”
It’s good to see White admitting that his initial assessment may have been a little off on this occasion. Personally I though Mir had put in a solid shift, showing improved wrestling as well as outboxing the heavy-handed ‘Big Country’ and displaying excellent use of his knees both in and out of the clinch. If it had been anyone other than Nelson who has a stellar chin then it’s unlikely that fight would have went the distance.
Given that Roy Nelson is now pretty much out of the running in the upper reaches of the division and Brock Lesnar’s future still uncertain, Mir remains one of the leading heavyweights on the roster and could be as little as one fight away from another title shot. With that in mind it doesn’t make sense to be questioning his value as a main or co-main event star.
For the record, while White has changed his opinion on Mir’s performance, he still maintains that Nelson’s was “terrible.”