Growing up, we're all told not to get our hopes too high for something we really want. Our parents warned us of the disappointment that could result in wanting something too much.
Frank Mir knows that feeling all too well right now.
After losing to Brock Lesnar last July, Mir made it his personal obsession to do what it took to beat the mammoth champion.
He added a solid 20 pounds of muscle, but he didn't sacrifice any of his speed or skill in the process. The strength and conditioning program was implemented to take away Lesnar's size advantage, and neutralize the ground attack he threw at Mir at UFC 100.
The training seemed to pay off when he faced Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 in December. Mir landed a shot to Kongo's face which dropped the Frenchman. Mir immediately jumped on top of Kongo and locked in a guillotine choke that ended the fight at 1:12 of the first round.
After the fight Mir spoke that his sole focus in the sport was to face Lesnar for a third time and win back the UFC Heavyweight championship.
That challenge had to be put on hold due to Lesnar's sickness and absence from the sport. A match with Shane Carwin was set up for the interim title.
During all the pre-fight hype, Mir again spoke repeatedly how his focus in MMA right now was training and preparing for a third Lesnar battle. Yes, he promised he would defeat Carwin on his way to the champion, but the focus was always squarely on Lesnar.
Carwin proved in less than four minutes on Saturday night that there was now more than one monster in the division that Mir must contend with from here on out.
Mir showed absolutely nothing in the fight as Carwin felt out Mir early and then pounced to end the fight in spectacular fashion.
Such a loss to a fighter so focused on a single goal could be devastating and the question for Mir now has nothing to do with Lesnar, but instead asks how does he rebound from a dream-shattering loss and move forward in his UFC career?
Only a few years ago the heavyweight division was floundering, but it's now filled with many young fighters ready to sit atop the division.
Cain Velasquez has already been promised the first title fight against the winner of Carwin versus Lesnar, so Mir won't fight him next.
Although the UFC may be fearful of blocking a young fighter's path to the top, Junior dos Santos would appear to be a great candidate for Mir's next fight.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has been very impressive since coming to the UFC in Oct. 2008. He has won all five of his fights, including his most recent victory over Gabriel Gonzaga earlier this month.
While dos Santos isn't as big as Carwin or Lesnar, he presents the same devastating punching power that stopped Mir over the weekend. It's a fight that dos Santos has everything to gain from, while Mir has everything to lose...again.
Dana White could drop Mir down a bit and have him face a mid-level heavyweight fighter like Gonzaga, Mirko Cro Cop, or Roy Nelson. Mir's ego may get in the way of such a fight, and he could demand a shot at either dos Santos or Velasquez.
No one, not even Mir himself, knows exactly what the next step is for the former champion. Having his dream shattered will make him question himself and his future like never before.
Anyone that doubts Mir's chances of making it back to the top of the mountain in the UFC is foolish. The loss of one dream will only serve as motivation for new ones starting now that will lead him back to the UFC Heavyweight title and whoever is holding it.
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