When you’re in the sports and entertainment industry, talent and controversy often reign supreme. Although former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir rocked the MMA world when he expressed his desire to kill Brock Lesnar, this isn’t the first time athletes have used that kind of language in a verbal sparring session – so what’s the big deal?
“When I got called in and they told me, ‘Listen man, this is an issue,’ I kind of had a smirk on my face the whole time,” Mir told SI.com of his reaction to the uproar his remarks made. “I was like, you’re kidding, right? This is a joke, right? I’ve heard people say that this is to the death. I’ve heard people say about an opponent, ‘I’m going to kill him.’ I heard Brock say he was going to put his hand up my rear end to pull out a horseshoe. I didn’t hear anyone get too upset about that.”
In addition to Lesnar, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn glamorized his wishes to cover the Octagon canvas with his opponent’s DNA, as well as UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell’s recent wishes to end bitter rival Tito Ortiz’ life.
So, why do you think you’re taking all the heat for something your peers have also done, especially since you’ve already offered an apology, Frank?
“No one’s been able to explain it to me yet,” Mir said of being the fall guy. “I thought we understood that what we say on camera is part of the entertainment aspect of our sport and we kind of get a little artistic license. I didn’t understand it, but hey, it came my way, I said it, and I can’t cry about it now. I’ve just got to deal with it, I guess.”
Another reason Mir may be under more scrutiny is because he went into specifics in describing his intended assault on the former WWE employee, stating that he hoped to make Lesnar “the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries.”
In addition, Lesnar just made a “miraculous” recovery from severe case of diverticulitis, a case which almost took his life … for real.
At the same time, drama puts butts in seats and makes people buy pay-per-views, so Mir knows his comments aren’t completely bad, especially since he didn’t mean them literally.
“Any time you try to play to what you think people want you to be like, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” Mir says. “If someone asks me a question, at least they can know that the answer I give is what I really think. Then, if they dislike me, at least they’re disliking who I really am because I really did say that.”
Mir will be the first to tell you that the best thing about being a mixed martial artist is that if you don’t appreciate someone, for whatever reason, there will usually be an opportunity for you to do something about it.
“If he thinks I’m wrong, he can prove it to me,” Mir said in closing.