UFC Insider: Weight issues affecting Mir?

Showdown Joe answers fan questions in this UFC Central Ask the Insider, including whether Frank Mir has played with his weight too much and if it has begun to affect his fights. (Mir, left, takes a punch during his April loss to Daniel Cormier).


With the UFC holding three events in eight days, a lot has transpired in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. And when that happens, there are sometimes many more questions than there are answers. Here are a few that caught my eye.

From Twitter:

This does tend to have an affect on a fighter’s performance. It’s also the reason why GSP has never moved up to middleweight and then returned to welterweight. He forever cites the example of Roy Jones Jr., who was never really the same after fluctuating up and down in boxing.

As for Mir, I’m not sure this is the whole case, but it could be one of a few things. I simply believe Mir waits to long to get going, and his counter fighting style has gotten the better of him. When Frank gets aggressive, he is a monster. When he gets guys down to the ground, he is a destroyer. When he acts, he wins. When he reacts, he takes too much abuse. Give me an aggressive Frank Mir vs. a counter fighting Frank Mir and I’ll show you a guy who can win his way back to a title shot.

If these are my only two options, then I will say Pettis vs. Grant. The timing makes sense and it’s already a guaranteed fight to happen. Jones vs. Gustaffson has yet to take place. If Alexander wins, Jon will get a rematch, so throw the Teixeira bout out the window. If Jon wins, then I can see them putting that fight (vs. Glover) on in January/February, maybe even March in New Jersey.

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First and foremost, I’m not an MMA ref. I’m certified as an MMA ref (and judge) under C.O.M.M.A.N.D. but have never applied for a license. I may one day, but not yet.

Looking at both fights, I see two different scenarios – while Thor was dropped HARD a few times, he quickly recovered and each time turned the tide Natal. As strange as it sounds, I don’t believe he was in as much trouble as Mir. Troeng did go down, but not like Terry Etim did against Edson Barboza. He was rocked, but came through.

Frank appeared to be getting dominated by Barnett, and the ref was already looking for an excuse to stop the fight. After the knees against the cage, Frank dropped down in a somewhat similar fashion to when he fought Shane Carwin. In fact, it happened right in front of us at the media side of the octagon. Frank looked hurt to me, and I immediately felt the fight should have been stopped. If I recall correctly, he was face first on the mat, not even in a position to defend any punches that Barnett was going to launch. That’s a sign that the safety of the fighter is now in serious danger. When Robert Hinds stopped it, I had no issues with it at all.

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I do not claim to know Johny Hendricks’ situation, but I do find it rather puzzling.

On UFC Central (TV), Georges invited Johny to do VADA testing. On UFC Central radio, Johny accepted. GSP then went and paid for the testing. Turns out he also paid for Johny. Georges has submitted the paperwork, with VADA congratulating Georges on being a part of the program, one that aims at making sure athletes are clean. In fact, Georges has already been randomly tested (results pending). Word is, Johny has yet to submit his paperwork.

This is unfortunate for not just Georges, but for the bout itself. What may end up happening is that Georges is the only one tested through VADA, while Johny only goes through the Athletic Commission testing. Red flags will be raised if this is what ends up happening. But truth be told, and based on my knowing Johny Hendricks the way that I do, I believe he will submit the paper work soon, and this will all be forgotten.

Unfortunately, my answer is Yes. Clay left the lightweight division for a fresh start at 145 lbs. In his first bout, he won a controversial split decision vs. Hatsu Hioki. In his second bout, he was TKO’d by Chad Mendes. That’s three losses in his last four fights. Things look bleak for “The Carpenter” right now, but he has shown a propensity for bouncing back during times of adversity. Thankfully, he has the right attitude and while he may not be in his mid-20’s, he’s only 31. There’s still time for him to make another run.

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My only concern is that he’s been fighting for over 10 years, that’s usually two years past what many believe is a fighter’s prime in MMA. The body can only take so much abuse, so I wonder if Clay’s body can no longer react to what his mind is asking him to do.

“Gentleman” Josh Hill is a stellar fighter, who is known to take guys down to the ground, and make them pay for signing a contract to fight him.

While the debut episode of TUF did not show much of his handy work, believe me: this guy gets the job done. Above all, he made it into the house, and only a few people involved with the show know the results of his next fight(s). For all we know, he may have knocked out and submitted his way to the finale. We’ll find out as the season progresses.

Actually, there are numerous ads running and promoting the event. Some are focused on the main event, some are showcasing both the main and co-main event, while others are talking about both, plus other bouts on the main card. Most of the time though, the focus is on the main event (pre-dominantly) anyway, so I don’t believe they are doing a poor job of promoting the event. The vast majority of fans are buying tickets for the main event. The hard cores are tuning in regardless, for the main, co-main, and rest of the solid matchups on the card.

Promoting is a science, and it’s done in a precise way. You only have so many seconds to get your message across, and the focus is more on Jon Jones (a fighter who has a name) than on any other fighter who doesn’t have a name (yet).

There has yet to be a casual fan that has walked up to me and said I can’t wait to see “insert any name here” fight at the ACC in Toronto. But there have been plenty who have come and asked how will Jones do and if Gustaffson can beat him.

And here’s a few questions via Facebook:

Greg Van Sluytman asked “Can you explain how the UFC rankings work? How is Teixeira #2 and he has not fought any title contenders or top 10 fighters?”

Ah yes, another ranking question, but thankfully, it’s not about my rankings. I could go on the typical, broken record, weekly, “rankings are subjective” soliloquy but this time I won’t have to… sort of.

As per the UFC’s rankings page, a select group of media are asked to submit their rankings after every event. They are then tabulated to produce an overall number where each fighter would then fall under.

I personally do not have Glover ranked at number two. On Tuesday, I had him ranked at number eight; a spot he earned after defeating a former top 10 fighter in Rampage Jackson. Above him, was Ryan Bader, who also defeated Rampage.

With Glover TKO’ing Ryan on Wednesday, I flipped their positions, with Glover now at seven, and Bader at eight (FYI – UFC.com will show the media updates on Friday, September 6). But, I’m in the minority, as the overwhelming majority in the media have Glover much higher than me. And that’s fine, it’s a polling system.

Many guys have Rory MacDonald at number two. I do not. Many guys have Chael Sonnen in both MW and LHW – I do not. It’s all personal and subjective, and above all, I never take them personally.

David Crundwell asked “With the smaller crowds in both Indy And Brazil this week. Joe any chance of smaller markets in Canada seeing more Wednesday cards?”

Absolutely – these Wednesday cards were never designed to be huge draws. While the UFC would love for them to be so, they simply are not.

There may be a time, like Monday night’s for WWE, where folks will come out in droves, but it will take time to build. Asking people to come out on a school/work night is risky, but if built accordingly (think Monday night RAW), then it will happen. Wednesdays will be UFC Fight Night’s, so in time, they could go from 5,000 seat venues, to 20,000 seat venues…but it won’t happen overnight.

The difference is, On those Monday nights, you are getting the premier stars of wrestling… you simply cannot get that for UFC events. It’s an impossible demand for any professional Mixed Martial Artist. So, it’s the UFC brand, along with certain marquee names, that will headline the cards, that will drive butts into the seats. So I believe the business model is much more acute for an in-week show, than for a Saturday night pay per view/FOX Sports 1 event.

This is good news for many regions across North America, especially Canada, where a pay per view or major card would never take place, but where a Fight Night could easily be successful. TJ Grant alone could easily sell out a venue in the Maritimes. Rory Mac could do it in BC. They along with the UFC brand would make for sell out shows, but that’s a perfect world scenario I’m bringing up. If a local UFC star was to get injured…

Tegan Danny Singer “Who do you think will have the edge in the jones and Gustafson fight and what do you think is next for Bader?”

I will always give the edge to the sport’s pound for pound best fighters. Jones has the edge over Gustaffson, but “The Mauler’s” reach and footwork could pose serious problems for Jon. Add the timing aspect, and Gustafsson could pull off the upset in the blink of an eye.

As for Ryan Bader, I was hoping he would take on Mauricio Rua next, but it looks like Shogun is expected to take on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira next. While Gegard Mousasi is looking for a dance partner, I’m not sure the UFC would put that fight on. I’m thinking Bader and James Te Huna could be next.

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