Frank Mir needs to learn to keep his mouth shut


Frank Mir’s win against chiseled Parisian, Cheick Kongo, at UFC 107 last night was impressive, but Frank’s trash talking prior to the fight took  more from his win than Kongo’s status as a fighter whose career seems to be on the wane.  The post-fight conciliatory gestures did little  take away the  sour-taste-in-the-mouth following the pre-fight acrimony.  It does not matter that Frank’s analysis of Kongo’s talents or lack thereof, was spot on. There is trash talking and then there is trash talking.  The fact that the normally reticent Kongo took particular umbrage to it just put an exclamation point to this particular spat. (See how Kongo turned his back to Frank at the weigh-in.) There is a certain unwritten science and art to it as Mir found out in the Brock Lesnar affair.

The unnecessary trash talking against Kongo placed Frank in the unenviable position of being “the jerk” who won; which is an odd position for a man who used to be Mr. Nice. After all the trash talking, there was very little room for the kind of inspirational speech-making he gave after  knocking off Big Nog,  Antonio Nogueira at UFC 92.

The  role of the trash-talking “heel” for Mir  is as ill-fitting as a “gi” on Yokozuna. Please note that the trash-talking started around the time Mir’s career had become stagnant.  And prior to UFC 107 last night, his mouth was running more than a broken  toilet bowl. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

(The fabricated bad blood, such as the ballyhooed one between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans) is the kind of crap the UFC needs to stay away from lest it begins to manifest hereditary genes of the WWE bloodline. (UFC 107: A better card out of the blue – Cyberaxis)

Standing Caveat: This is not your little brother’s WWE: And it cannot be all light-hearted ribbing when your opponent takes umbrage at your talk and bashes your face in a few more times  a la Brock Lesnar or Dan Henderson in the case of the pesky Michael Bisping. The only exception to the rule about trash talking is when you have fighters who choose trash talking as part of their persona. Mir did not start off this way, hence our dismay at this insidious drift which  leaves him in no-man’s land because Mir is not an avowed heel.

Those who defend this trend as a way to drum publicity should think of the WWE and the fact that its recessive genes may find bothersome expression in UFC culture.

Bloodied Mir at UFC 100

Cyberaxis to Frank Mir: Shut the fuck up and remember this UFC 100 drubbing every time you try to open your mouth. (Photo by Associated Press)

As for Frank, he in the interim,  needs to decide whether his spiel is gonna veer more towards comedy which is pardonable or the-walk-the-talk realism which is permissible only if he can walk the talk. In the months and weeks prior to UFC 100, it veered  more towards comedy and the people  who were disinclined to cut him some slack forgave him because his life was clearly on the line.

Be that as it may,  the trash talking against Lesnar, following Mir’s drubbing at UFC 100, created a monumental  PR/image problems for the UFC veteran. There was some justifiable sense,  pari passu, that Mir’s merciless drubbing and Lesnar’s over-the-top celebration was Mir’s deserved comeuppance. Yes, there are people who withheld sympathy for Mir because of his taunting of Lesnar.

If Frank wasn’t such an insecure prick, he’d be very likable. He’s very good on the WEC as a analyst, but once you put an opponent in front of him, he becomes a tool. What’s funny is that he seems to fluctuate between the insecure toolishness and genuine goodness that he possesses. During the Countdown show, he said Kongo’s striking was mediocre. Then at the pre-fight presser today, he says that he’s a great striker and that he will look to take the fight to the ground. Very interesting guy, he just needs to realize that he’s a great fighter and doesn’t need to mask his insecurities with cockiness. (Spirona, Reader Comments, Five Ounces of Pain 12/10/09)

Mir should resolve to zip it up at this point and let his fighting do the talking, unless he wants to become “the  Lesnar of the mouth” – which is really representative of the failure of inner PR.

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Appendices:

The Trouble With Frank Mir: Divergent ways of dealing with post fight trauma (Cyberaxis)

Carwin Calls Mir A Terrible Human being (Steve Cofield, Yahoo)

Dana Flips His Lid Over Mir – The Apologies Are In (Steve Cofield)

UFC Forces Frank Mir To Backtrack On Lesnar Death Comment (Sergio Non, USA Today)

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4 responses to “Frank Mir needs to learn to keep his mouth shut

  1. I don’t think his trash-talking was that bad against Kongo. I feel like there has been way more trash-talking and cockiness between other fights in the past.. Tito Ortiz’s name comes to mind haha.

    I donno, it was a bit odd to see Mir talking shit the way he did.. and I wonder what actually started the bad blood between Mir and Kongo? Regardless – Mir did come out and back up what he said.. even choked Kongo out just the way he said he would at the wheigh-ins, haha!

    I don’t think a lot of the prefight hype and trash talking is necessarily all “real”. If you watched TUF 10, the trash-talking between Rashad and Rampage was ridiculous … but they were pretty much friends when the cameras were off.

    I think some of it is just to hype up the fight, but oh well.

    Did you see how huge Mir looked for this fight.. weighed in at almost 265 haha he’s a big boy.

    Scott

    • The 64 million dollar question is whether the normally reticent Cheick Kongo deserved it. We think not. We have updated the original post to address some of the cogent points you raise.

      On the question of size, yes Frankie porked up quite a bit and then trimmed down a little before the fight (or was it all a matter of appearance?). In one prefight publicity video he looked like he was running for the Pillsbury dough boy prize. But we digress.

      The Editor – Cyberaxis
      (Remember the words of Chaim Bertman,
      “In the venom, is a whisper of the antidote.”)

  2. Hey, I reread. This is an amazing article, thanks for editing on my account haha.

    I agree that it was uncharacteristic of Mir, I think he’s more professional than that. I grew up playing hockey and guys that you always thought were the most classy players often had outbursts like Mir did. I think it’s just part of being an athlete and that competitive fire.

    However, if you look at a guy like GSP. He’s the classiest and most professional UFC champion and fighter … and you wouldn’t ever see him outburst and fire at an open the way Mir did.

    I don’t know, I don’t think it’s something worth making a huge deal out of.. but I do agree that it was uncharacteristic and unprofessional of Mir.

    Cheers for the great read.

    Scott

    • Frank would do well to take a page out Chuck Liddell, among other things. Chuck has lost 4 out of last 6 fights by a knockout without saying much this way or the other. And look at the love he’s got from the masses. If he chose to come back for one more last fight it would be like a “Rocky”. The difference? One is talking ungrounded smack, the other ain’t.

      The Editor – Cyberaxis
      (Remember the words of Chaim Bertman,
      “In the venom, is a whisper of the antidote.”)

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