The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
July 7, 2022

Frank Mir On Brock Lesnar, His Daughter Bella Mir's MMA Dominance, Why He's Not Ready To Retire

Frank Mir On Brock Lesnar, His Daughter Bella Mir's MMA Dominance, Why He's Not Ready To Retire

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Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) is a former 2-time UFC Heavyweight Champion. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet at the Blue Wire Studios in Las Vegas to talk about his legendary career, being part of Freedom Fight Night, his fights with Brock Lesnar, Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia and others, his daughter Bella Mir's MMA career, his recent boxing match against Kubrat Pulev, his time working as a bouncer at Spearmint Rhino, what he thinks about Jake Paul's boxing career and much more!

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On how Frank Mir’s workouts have changed compared to when he was in the UFC:

“They are more specific, way different. I think before I wasted a lot of time training like a strength athlete when I was lifting weights or trying to be a marathoner while doing cardio. How I explain it now is that a UFC athlete is like being a decathlete. You can’t sit there and put on 10lbs so you can throw something harder. Yes you can, but then you are going to screw up your time on the 1,500. When you go from one area you take from another, so there is a lot about being specific but it’s the basics of everything. So when people watch me lift weights they might be like ‘Is this it?’ But then we go and roll and then we will spar. If you have a 2 hour workout that’s great but what are your goals here? Are you trying to be overall stronger or lift more on the bench?”

On how UFC fighters have changed:

“Well yeah at the time our fitness was like that. A lot of my workouts looked like bodybuilder workouts. I got really into the strongman competitor workouts, which I look like now but not lifting as intensely. There is only so much you can take, can lift and only so much sleep that you can get. Once a week I will lift heavy, and then the rest of the time I go pretty light. I try to go for form and function, one day could be a 50 rep day. We don’t lift that heavy just to get the blood flowing and the body to heal. Then there are some heavy days with 3 reps, but than can wreck your nervous system.”

On the fight where it all came together for Frank Mir:

“You know, the Ceick Kongo fight gave me a lot of understanding of going back and forth from fighting to submissions. You can see how quickly I can transition in the fight. I used to train an hour and a half of boxing, then wrestling, then Muay Thai. I used to train on takedowns, but the quicker you take them down, the quicker they stand up. We used to have sparring sessions, but with the 8oz puffy gloves, which are softer, and headgear. I make my daughter wear the headgear too. But I would do striking rounds and sparring rounds, but never do actual MMA rounds.”

On his daughter Bella being an undefeated champion:

“I mean nothing is certain right, you know, apart from death and taxes. But I would put Bella being an undefeated champion at number 3.”

On Bella being in the UFC:

“If she wanted to then she would be there right now. But we held back in July as she was only 17, she had 2 pro fights but I wanted her to take her time. She would probably jump into it now, but I want her to follow college. She is a National Champion and 4 time state champion, she wants to pursue wrestling in the Olympics, she is taking on freestyle now.” 

On how much pressure there is for Bella:

“I wish the outside was the only pressure that there was. She puts a lot of pressure on herself and it bugs me. Sometimes I have to reign her in on that. One time she got second in the nationals, and you know, there are things I don’t understand about female athletes, things happen every month I don’t know a lot about. So I am learning about this. We didn’t understand why she was so drained, we thought it might have been a bad weight cut. We had to drag her out the bedroom and we didn’t know why. Then we saw the bloodwork and the iron was low, that was why. So I’m like ok guys, let’s chill a bit, you are the second best in the country, you lost to the best in the country. My daughter is doing kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu, there are 4 or 5 different disciplines. I don’t want her to sacrifice things to be the best at wrestling. If you are a part time wrestler, being second and having a first place, that is not the worst thing.”

On if Frank Mir has retired:

“You know my goal is just to be in the gym and to train. I like to be healthy and I like to demonstrate what I am talking about when I am coaching. I enjoy the martial arts, sparring, rolling… When I first started, no one really bragged about being a fighter, I lost more dates than I gained. When I first started dating at 21, my wife was going to leave me. I went to check my phone after the fight and she was like ‘We need to talk.’ She had no clue.”

On Frank Mir being a bouncer at Spearmint Rhino:

“I have really seen some human nature, money, drugs and sex. One guy tried to grab my suit so I put his pinky against his elbow, that probably broke. I used to do joint manipulation, but that only works on sober people. What am I going to do, break someone’s arm? I will be broke by the time all the lawsuits are done. So I quickly learned that cutting the blood off from the brain was the quickest way to get people to see things my way.”

On Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar 3:

“I wanted to put myself in a position of going out there and being successful, but it wasn’t in the talks. I would be game if it happened again, but it wasn’t on his radar. When you are the draw on the a side, you get to call the shots. Because of the way I responded in the second fight, he thought I was a little off.”

On Brock Lesnar:

“He is the number one rival I get spoken about the most. Casual fans of the UFC, Brock is who they are talking about. The hardcore fans, they ask me about Wanderlei Silva.”

On if he has another match in him:

“I think I will tell you that in a couple of months. When I come back from the stem cells in a couple of months I will know. If I can spar and roll around then yeah. I was only sparring hard once a week, and they would take it as a sign that I have lost my edge. But at 41 if I do everything like a 20 year old, I will never make it to that cage again. What is the benefit of that? If I’m in the gym and a 225 rep contest takes place, I just watch. I have to pullback here if I want to succeed there.”

On boxing again:

“Yeah I would want to be a part of that as I did well the first time around. I kind of regret taking the second fight but then 5 minutes later I don’t. So look man, maybe it’s growing up with video games, but sometimes there is the reset, but the health bar is low. Life doesn’t always line it all up for you and give you everything you need, you have to make it all happen.”

On the biggest lesson learned from fighting:

“Oh there are zero guarantees. There is no guarantee of victory or failure, all we can do is push the needle. If I eat right and exercise every day, will I live longer? Maybe, but there is no guarantee. The guy who invented jogging had a heart attack at 45, you can do everything right and still fail or do everything wrong and be successful. I can make sure I can push the needle to be successful, no guarantee, but I can push the needle.” 

On Jake Paul:

“You know what, after his last fight I have to give him credit. We can critique that he hasn’t fought a boxer his own size, but I am in favour of him. You talk about what we do, the fights we do in Miami, The Freedom Fight Nights, it’s about the culture. People admire people with a left side mentality. All of our children’s heroes admire LeBron James as an athlete, you then start to take on their ideals. So that being said, the identity of our youth has been lost, unless you find a youth with military aspirations, I am trying to restore that with the Freedom Fight Nights. We do have some liberals competing, but they do believe in speaking your mind. Look how many kids are getting into combat sports because of the Paul brothers.”

On what Frank Mir is grateful for:

“Family, martial arts and the people who dislike me.”