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.

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.


  1. great article! i think you summed it up pretty well. just think that dana had been kinda moody overall lately and especially to frank. he has been treating him pretty damn sh*tty this year!

  2. Now that you come to mention it Kristina he has seemed a bit moodier than normal this year. He even openly criticized Kenny Florian’s performance recently which surprised me a little.

    Incidentally, I notice Dana actually admitted on twitter earlier on that he didn’t do any post-UFC 119 interviews because he was in a bad mood.

  3. I was at UFC 119. I have read a lot of articles that are saying that Mir had a disappointing fight. Well, guess what…the only fight on the main card that didn’t have people booing was Chris Lytle Vs. Matt Serra. Every fight was far less exciting that we had hoped for, but don’t take out the failure of 80% of the main card on Mir. He fought a good fight plan against one of the most dangerous fighters in the HW Division. Dana had to be pms’ing about how vocal the crowd was about the entire card. The crowd was relentless in their displeasure. I heard over and over people yelling things like “Come on…I spent good money for this?!?”

  4. I totally agree, while I thought the fight was undoubtably crappy it was just as much Cro-Cops fault as Mirs. Mir even went as far as to put his hands down, chin out and stand flat footed right in front of Cro-Cop and the Croatians hips didn’t even budge.

    As for a growing rift…I think it will blow over. I’m sure Dana gets a million hate tweets a day about decisions or anti-fighter crap, just because a fighters son starts kicking up dirt shouldn’t and probably doesn’t mean crap. What would really become an issue is if Dana calls Mir out on his parenting and Mir reacts.

  5. yeah i defo agree with you! the criticism towards KenFlo kinda surprised me aswell. i noticed that too on Dana’s twitter and i just saw recently that he actually pointed out that he’s NOT gonna fire frank. my heart seriously skipped a beat there for a minute! well, i hope he gets in a better mood soon and just out of curiousity; i really wonder what’s happened though.
    anyway, the convo between cro cop and frank made my day despite everything else, just hilarious!

    Cro Cop: ”Let me go, lets go to the centre and fight”
    Mir: ”Let’s go to the mat”
    Cro Cop: ”OK – if I’m on top”
    Mir: ”We’ll stay in the clinch”

    keep up the good work rossc!

  6. “I’m sure Dana gets a million hate tweets a day about decisions or anti-fighter crap, just because a fighters son starts kicking up dirt shouldn’t and probably doesn’t mean crap.”

    Looks like it Eric. I notice Dana’s now shrugged his shoulders about Marcus Mir’s comments, saying, “I can understand a kid being mad I said something about his moms husband.”

    Despite that there’s definitely still seems to be tension between Frank and Dana for whatever reason.

  7. Thanks Kristina. The Mir and Cro Cop comments were gold for sure.

    It’s always funny when fighters have seemingly casual conversations like that in the middle of a high pressure fight.

    My favorite example of it is back at UFC 12 when Dan Severn decided to have a joke with referee John McCarthy just before the fight.

    Big John: “You got any questions at all?”

    Dan: “Well you know, I was wondering John, if I had a bicycle and I could travel 10mph and a train travels at 50mph and I gotta travel a 30 minute distance, how many apples does Mary have left in the basket?”

    Big John: “She’s got a monkey. Good luck. You fight smart.”

  8. Codeywan: Your right to point out the other fights on the card, it shouldn’t be just Mir who shoulders the blame for it. I thought Guillard’s unexpectedly cautious gameplan set the main card off on the wrong foot and it never quite recovered after that.

    I enjoyed the Spike TV prelims though. Hope you have some positive things to take away from the event too.