No fighter likes to be called out on the inadequacies of their game, so imagine how Frank Mir felt after his boss put him and his mundane UFC 119 performance on blast. Dana White was so irked with what he saw Saturday night, the brash promoter is contemplating whether that should be the last time his former champ is allowed inside his Octagon.
“I have no clue about Frank,” White told ESPN.com. “To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that’s a little frustrating. 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.”
Mir has donned the UFC crown on multiple occasions, so it’s odd White would viciously attack the character of his former champion like that. At the same time, employees need to be reprimanded when their production isn’t up to snuff – sometimes even fired, as in Mir’s case.
“Sure,” White matter-of-factly stated. “You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job.”
UFC 119 was greeted with lukewarm anticipation, at best, and its reception was even more disappointing. The show was so dreadful, it appeared as though the Hoosiers were booing from beginning to end. The Awful Odometer reached an all-time high when Mir and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic laid an absolute egg the night’s “featured attraction.”
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan accurately likened their affair to a sparring session where both competitors secretly agreed to not fight too aggressively.
White’s irritation ran over at the post-fight press conference when he opted not to award a Knockout of the Night winner, as customary after each Octagon event where a knockout is executed. Mir’s unexpected finish was the only KO on the card, but who needs an extra $70K anyway?
“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 [expletive] This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!
“These guys aren’t going in to Afghanistan,” he said. “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.”
While the national unemployment rates remain at record-setting highs, don’t expect for Uncle Sam to be fronting Mir paychecks anytime soon. Particularly since he ultimately left Indy with a knockout victory. Although, White & Co. have been on a cutting spree of late and they could be looking to trim some additional fat heading into 2011.
(Updated: 9/27/2010 3:32 PM PT)
White just tweeted the following to clarify his comments to ESPN: “To end this [expletive] I did not say I was cutting Mir. Reporter said” could u” I said of course I could. It was VERY clear I was not.”