Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir: A Loser-Leaves-Town Fight at UFC 167?

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterSeptember 6, 2013

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 17: Alistair Overeem sits in the corner and is tended to by medical staff after being knocked out by Travis Browne in their heavyweight bout at TD Garden on August 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Frank Mir wasted no time getting back on the horse after being knocked out by Josh Barnett at UFC 164.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Thursday night that Mir and fellow heavyweight Alistair Overeem have agreed to a fight at UFC 167, which adds yet another big-name bout to a card that's already stacked beyond belief. 

Seriously, just look at this main card: 

Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks
Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans
Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir
Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler
Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley

That's a stellar card by any definition, and it's a fitting 20th Anniversary show for the UFC. The addition of Overeem vs. Mir might insert even more intrigue: the prospect of a loser-leaves-town fight between two of the UFC's biggest-name heavyweights. 

Never heard of a loser leaves town fight? Here's the simple explanation from Wikipedia: "Loser Leaves Town is a generic term for any match where the loser has to leave the current promotion or brand."

Fairly simple, right? The loser of Mir vs. Overeem will likely receive his walking papers. It's a bit more nuanced than that, as I'll explain in a moment, but boiled down to brass tacks, it's this.

This is a must-win fight for both men. 

For Mir, I view retirement as the more likely circumstance. If he loses to Overeem, it'll be his fourth consecutive loss in the Octagon. He's 34 years old, and while he has a long way to go before he approaches Randy Couture-ish years, Mir has been around the game for a long time.

He's put a lot of mileage on those tires. He made his UFC debut in 2001 and has found himself square in the middle of horrific battles over the years. The beatings he suffered at the hands of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin come to mind. 

I can't see Mir suffering four losses in a row and attempting to stick around. He's a very smart guy—one of the brightest in the UFCand his brilliant mind for analysis and commentary gives him a career path to follow after he hangs up the gloves.

He won't give the UFC the opportunity to cut him from the roster; he'll retire and begin a second (and likely lucrative) career as a broadcaster and instructor. And the UFC likely wouldn't want to cut him, anyway, as Mir is one of its longtime veterans. 

Overeem? His back is against the wall. He's not going to retire at age 33, which means he has to beat Mir in order to keep his job. Three consecutive losses in the UFC is one thing, but it's another thing entirely to go on a losing streak when you're getting paid the kind of money he is. 

UFC 167 will be the end of an era. We'll either see Mir take his long and fruitful career and ride into the sunset, or we'll see the short Overeem Era come to a violent and ultimately disappointing end.

Either way it goes, it will be worth watching.