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24 Nov, 2017 20:58

‘Conor McGregor is UFC’s cash cow, but they have to do something about him’ - Frank Mir (VIDEO)

Former UFC fighter and two-time heavyweight champion Frank Mir says that the promotion has to punish Conor McGregor despite the Irishman’s role in its financial success.

Mir, who signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA in mid-August of this year, and will take a part in their heavyweight Grand Prix next year, spoke to RT Sport shortly after the announcement of the tournament.

In the first part of the interview he spoke about his upcoming fight with Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, his current condition and planned training camp in Russia.

READ MORE: ‘Fedor Emelianenko is still extremely dangerous’ – Frank Mir talks Bellator Grand Prix (VIDEO)

In the second part, Mir discussed recent news in the UFC, which he represented for 16 years, and where he still holds the record for the most victories in the heavyweight division.

RT: Considering that you got in trouble with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which banned you from competition for two years, what’s your take on Jon Jones’ situation?

FM: It’s the same metabolite that I’ve gotten in trouble for. I just don’t think they understand that test well enough, because it makes no sense. For Jon to take something just before the fight, not even taking it far out, where it’s like ok, if you are going to take a steroid, you are going to take for weeks at a time to get a benefit from it. There is no steroid in the world that works for just one day. If you take a shot all of a sudden now you can lift more weight, or you can run faster. That doesn’t exist. Steroids make you heal faster, so you can train harder. He passed the tests all the way up to the night before the fight, after the weigh-in. Why would you take anything then? Jon is not stupid, and he doesn’t surround himself with people that are stupid. He has brothers that are in the NFL. He understands athletics, he understands sports. The guy is a world champion, one of the best fighters in the world. It just doesn’t make sense, it seems very strange to me.       

RT: Another thing that happened right after Jon Jones’ fight with Daniel Cormier, was Cormier’s initial reaction, which you spoke about on your podcast, and which eventually upset DC, who promised to 'kick your ass' the next time he sees you. What was your reaction to that?

FM: Obviously he doesn’t want to meet me outside. Fighting in the cage and fighting in the street are two different things. Slight variations. But I’ve told him that we can come on each other’s podcasts so we can talk about it, if he wants to battle that way too. So we can talk about it and discuss it. But I think that isn’t something that he wants to discuss – that’s for one. You can hear me commentate, and you can hear him commentate – there’s no comparison in our intelligence. And secondly, he already has a losing case. If he’s going to defend the fact that crying after a guy kicked your ass is ok, it’s kind of a rough one to back up. I think that most men would agree that it’s a physiological way to tapping to somebody. If I beat you up, and sit there bawling about it afterwards – I’ve beaten you on every level. That’s all I was pointing out. You should have gotten out of the cage. His cornermen should have thrown a towel over his head, walked him out and deny him being interviewed. Everybody was mad at Joe Rogan, but that’s Joe’s job – interview fighters. A cornerman’s job is to protect the fighters. So I don’t think that Rogan did anything wrong. Obviously, Daniel couldn't think straight, he was all over the place. Very emotional, very hurt from just being knocked out very brutally by Jon. I don’t agree with him crying in front of a bunch of people. I think it looks bad. And everybody else does too. Unless there is a diehard fan, and one of those people, who no matter what he does, are going to defend him. An average person, who is neutral, watches that and goes ‘wow, is that guy crying after that other guy kicked his ass?’

RT: Would you consider a rematch with Cormier, if the chance came around?

FM: That’d be always a great chance. I would like that rematch. In our fight he pretty much just held me against the cage, and won the decision in that way. I would like to have a fight where we actually fought each other, and someone actually gets hurt. I think that’s fighting, not wrestling or holding someone against the cage. 

RT: Conor McGregor recently got involved in yet another scandal, when he initiated a brawl in the Bellator cage at their event in Dublin. The UFC then removed McGregor from an event he was scheduled to fight at. Do you think the UFC would go for a tougher punishment if that wasn’t Conor?

FM: I think that they have to do something with Conor. They don’t want to, I’m sure. For the UFC Conor McGregor is the biggest cash cow that they have. He makes a lot of money for the organization. In one sense, a lot of success gives you a lot of leeway, the opportunities to get away with things. But because of the way the media is now in the world, everybody has a phone on them, everybody can voice an opinion. So it’s almost kind of a backlash now. Being famous makes you actually being more careful. You don’t get privileges that people got 15-20 years ago. Now, because of the backlash the UFC would receive by not doing something to Conor, they have to. There has to be some kind of consequences, because they’ve shown in the past with other fighters they had, that if they touch the referee they got released. Regardless of apologizing or not. So even though, obviously, they aren’t going to release Conor – and I think most people understand why they wouldn’t – some kind of consequences have to come. Being silent and doing nothing would be a media disaster for them.

RT: Another big name for the UFC, Georges St-Pierre, recently made a comeback at the UFC 217 event, which many people believe was one of the best in the promotion’s history. What did you think of the event?

FM: It was a very good and exciting card. The only person that I’ve picked to win, that actually came through and won, was Stephen Thompson. Every other fight, which way I thought it would go, went the opposite. In fact, the Cody Garbrandt -  T.J. Dillashaw fight I had as almost a split, I really didn’t know who would win. I went with Cody, because of what he did with Dominick Cruz. But that fight going either way wouldn’t surprise me, because they are both great fighters. The fight that surprised me was Georges St-Pierre versus Bisping. I thought that St-Pierre would not be able to fight for five rounds. He is too heavy, too much time off, and not aggressive enough. And really, besides the left hook, he was looking kind of bad there. Even though he took down Bisping, he wasn’t doing a lot of damage, like he used to do at welterweight. You know, he caught him with the hook, took the best advantage of it. That fight surprised me. And I thought that if Rose Namajunas can make it three rounds, she deserves a win bonus. She has zero chances to win that fight – I couldn't have been more wrong.