Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir has gone on record that he won’t retire regardless of the outcome at UFC 169 on Saturday night where he’ll face another veteran at a crossroads in his career, Alistair Overeem.
“I kind of know no matter what it’s not going to be my last fight,” Mir said in an interiew with ESPN.com. “I’m still younger than a lot of the guys in the division.
“There are two ways I would consider retirement. One is losing to guys who are not top-level competition. The other is if I started losing where it’s like, ‘OK man, you were knocked out viciously and staring at the rafters.’ I won’t endanger my health.”
It’s an interesting assessment from the 34 year-old that not everyone will agree with. In fairness, his last three defeats have all come to top flight competition in Junior Dos Santos, Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett, but the nature of those defeats, and others over the course of his career in the last few years, are where some are likely to have a bone of contention.
On paper he’s only been cleanly knocked out once in his career by Shane Carwin back in 2010, but his TKO losses to the likes of Brock Lesnar, Dos Santos and Barnett were all as a result of sustained, brutal beatings.
A win on Saturday night against Overeem would help tremendously, but another decisive TKO or worse still definitive KO defeat would surely leave retirement as a serious consideration if he was genuinely concerned about his health.
A loss may well also lead to the end of his time in the UFC too as Dana White had previously signalled that this was to all intents and purposes a “loser leaves town” match-up.
However, White has appeared to back down from that just a little in recent days, suggesting that if the fight turned out to be a barnburner in the mold of the recent Mark Hunt Vs Antonio Silva bout, then that could change his mind.