The biggest story to emerge from UFC 119 appears to be the rapidly escalating feud between UFC president Dana White and former heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
As we’ve reported over the last couple of days White has been quick to voice his disapproval of Mir’s overall performance on Saturday night, and has even gone as far as to intentionally snub the fighter’s entitlement to the ‘Knockout Of The Night’ award.
Fans and family members of Mir have suggested that White has a personal grudge against him, and judging by his latest quotes he’s certainly not pulling any punches, questioning Mir’s heart.
“I have no clue about Frank. To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that’s a little frustrating,” ESPN report White as having said in the aftermath of the fight. “Once “Cro Cop” stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor. If Frank Mir can’t bully you, his heart shrinks to the size of the Grinch’s. If he can’t take you down, his heart shrinks to the size of a pea.”
White even went as far as to suggest that Mir’s job in the UFC is not safe if he continues to perform like that.
“Sure. You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job.”
“You go to your job and don’t perform; what will happen? And when people say, ‘Hey, these guys put their lives on the line,’ that’s a crock of s—. This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!
“These guys aren’t going in to Afghanistan. The US military puts their life on the line. Police, firefighters walk into the line of fire … UFC fighters do not. These are smart guys with college educations. If they don’t want to do this, go out and get a real job.”
I think White is being a little heavy-handed here.
To be fair though he did also say after Anderson Silva’s lackluster performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112 that he would release him if he ever performed like that again.
Silva had a history of similar performances though, such as in his fights with Patrick Cote and Thales Leites.
Mir’s situation seems different to me. This was undeniably a very poor performance, but he did end it in spectacular fashion, and in fact when you look back at his recent record his last five wins have all ended impressively inside the distance.
Of course he did get dominated by both Lesnar and Carwin in amongst those wins, but name a fighter who hasn’t been against those two giants of the division.
It also takes two to tango. It seems that White’s focus has been solely on Mir, but Cro Cop is as much to blame for the performance as he is, and unlike Mir his other recent performances have also been a disappointment.
So there definitely seems to be something more to this story, perhaps stemming back to Mir’s controversial comments earlier in the year stating that he’d like to see his nemesis Brock Lesnar die in the cage.
White didn’t take kindly to those remarks, and if there’s one thing we know about Dana it’s that he’s not afraid to get into a public feud with fighters in the UFC as Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, Josh Koscheck and many more will testify.
It should be noted that despite their differences the aforementioned fighters all still fight in the promotion though, and realistically I don’t think White will end up cutting Mir any time soon.