I'm sure you've seen the past two episodes of UFC Primetime.
You know, the ones where Frank Mir lovingly—and in excruciatingly grisly detail—describes his love for snapping limbs. It's painful stuff, especially when you remember the visage of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira shortly after he made the dumb decision to let Mir thrash his right arm beyond all recognition rather than tap out.
Is Mir a violent man? In a manner of speaking, yes. He's the best submission heavyweight in the history of the sport, and with that comes a certain expectation of limb-snapping. But, I discussed this subject with Mir during a chat on Wednesday afternoon, and he told me that he's not all he's portrayed to be.
"I don't really enjoy breaking limbs. I love winning by submission. They are so definitive and powerful. It's my favorite aspect," Mir said. "But you have to realize, the guy that I am fighting, we are of the same breed. We're both mixed martial artists. I want to win, of course, but if they can leave with their limb intact, I'm a happier person for it."
That's a big difference from the guy we're seeing on television each week, isn't it? But that's usually how these things go. Mir is a master at building fights, but he's also one of the most charming and intelligent fighters in the entire sport. I sat with Mir in the Media Center at the MGM Grand for nearly 45 minutes, discussing a range of subjects from Obama/Romney on gun control to his desire to beat the living crap out of Ted Bundy.
And I wondered how much time Mir has left in the game. He's still young, but he's been doing this cage-fighting thing for a long, long time. He tells me that Dan Henderson is still fighting for titles in his 40s, so there's no reason he can't do the same thing. But I don't see Mir sticking around until his 40s, and I don't think he does, either.
He has a future in commentary because he's one of the best analytical minds in the sport.
"It's something I can get back to and help the world of martial arts with, the sport that has given me so much," Mir says. "If I can help the casual fan out, that would be great."
How much does Mir have left? Is this his final run at the title or the beginning of a late-career renaissance for one of the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport? As with anything else, Mir is cogent when discussing the day that he'll pack up his gear and go home for the final time.
"First and foremost, injuries have to be taken into consideration. And really, I have three small children. I want to be part of their lives," Mir said. "Once they get older, it's time for me to become a cast member and not the star of the show. Which I am more than happy to take up."