Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Frank Mir's Mental Game

The former heavyweight champ talks about his mental preparation for his fight versus Shane Carwin, and a possible bout versus Brock Lesnar.

By Drew Phillips

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Henderson, Nevada- As UFC 111 approaches Frank Mir looks at the fight against Shane Carwin as one step closer to the ultimate goal of reclaiming his title from Brock Lesnar. As we talked to Mir, he showed he was preparing himself for the fight on every level. From strength training at Philippi Sports Institute, to Muay Thai training, through to his mental game, Frank Mir will be ready for the match.

Mir is unlike most fighters. He understands the value of the mental game. He spoke about his respect for Diego Sanchez after the BJ Penn fight, for Sanchez’s willingness to keep fighting even though it was obvious to most he was not going to win. “It’s not in every situation that you are going to come out a winner. How many people go into a fight saying ‘forget it, I don’t care if I’m going to get my a$@ beat.’”

Frank Mir pointed out, however, that it takes more than intensity and strength to win. He shared some of his philosophy with us. There is a Samurai proverb of two Samurais that met at a river bank. The first shows his strength by jumping the width of the river. The other shows his intelligence by walking a short distance to a man with a boat and pays him to take him safely across. The lesson, according to Mir, “Don’t spend your life trying to find something that you could buy for a nickel.”

So many fighters spend so much time training for strength in an attempt to compensate for their mental game. Frank Mir compared these fighters to a lumberjack who breaks their axe and out of frustration starts pounding on the tree with a sledge hammer. It may eventually bring the tree down, but why not find a sharp rock that can actually cut into it?

Every chance Mir has to get into Brock Lesnar’s head, he will do it. That is why he wants to do his best to destroy every opponent he faces until he can face his rival and reclaim his title. Right now, the only one in his way is Shane Carwin.

UFC 111 will be another opportunity for Frank Mir to show what he is capable of. If he has another showing like that against Cheick Kongo, it will send another strong message to Lesnar.

The fight will be held on March 27, 2010 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.