Tag Archives: Trash talking

UFC 117: Chael Sonnen’s romp through Anderson Silva’s Forbidden City ends with a choke and a near death experience (Fight video)


Chael Sonnen’s cheeky romp through the Forbidden City ended as all cartoon strips with morality tales do: with sudden comeuppance – in this case  a choke to ye  ol’ windpipe and intimations of a near death experience. Sounds familiar? Well it should because the plot is as old as classic fable.

Silva chokes out Sonnen - Jeff Chiu, AP

Very few people beyond Anderson Silva's corner saw this coming, the anaconda moment as The Spiderman chokes out Chael Sonnen, with two minutes left in the 5th and final round of UFC 117. (Photo: Jeff Chiu, AP)

The ultimate bottomline is that UFC 117 surprised the hell out of everyone. And its end, sudden and surreptitious, caught even  Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg off guard. The explosive reaction that reverbrated worldwide  was right up there with the storied endings of famous fights  since the beginning of MMA. (Shades of Werdum vs Fedor or Lesnar vs Carwin anyone?) Continue reading

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The Trouble With Frank Mir: Divergent Ways of Dealing with Post-fight Trauma


Frank Mir was a certifiable trash talker until yesterday. With the ” I want to break (Lesnar’s) neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to octagon-related injuries” Frank Mir crossed a line that could make for an anecdotal case for having one’s head examined.

“A lot of individuals are so worried about being politically correct,” Mir said in a radio interview. “I’d rather go ahead and say what’s on my mind than to sit there and come up with some PC ‘Oh, the guy is a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him.’ If I don’t mean it, why is it even coming out of my mouth?”

“I want to fight Lesnar. I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries. That’s what’s going through my mind.” (Frank Mir with Mark Madden, Radio Interview)

That Frank’s remark was highly impolitic, regardless of what other purpoted trash-talkers have said in the past,  goes without saying – which is why the UFC came down hard on him (More on this later on.) The public significance of that is now moot. Frank has apologized, but not before  being publicly lambasted as a “(bleeping) idiot” by Dana White. These are sensitive times:

“Mir is a [expletive] idiot! I have never heard something so unprofessional and idiotic in my life,” (Dana White with Carmichael Dave of KHTK,  Sacramento, CA)

The remark was out of line – even when you listen to it in the context of the interview Mir had with Madden:

What does it say about Frank’s frame of mind? His touch or lack thereof with the bounds of propriety in time-space and circumstance?   To examine this from a different perspective, we would like to suggest two different ways in which two UFC fighters in recent memory have dealt with the challenge or trauma of losing, namely Frank Mir and Rashad Evans.

Frank Mir

Frank Mir stranded on a head trip? A study in contrasts

Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans: Grounded in victory and defeat? You be the judge.

Legend: The story of Rashad Evans is very instructive of how fighters can handle a traumatic loss, because this is a guy who went into virtual hibernation after the shock and awe of his loss to Lyoto Machida in UFC 98. Evans who should never have given into the temptation of playing the cocky-punk-ass  because he doesn’t play a very convincing heel to begin with, had the extra feelings of embarrassment to deal with. His post-hibernation interview posted on Youtube is a riveting study in humility and soul searching. True, Evans’ drubbing was not crowned with eggregious ridicule and unsportmanlike showboating, but his unstinting inner focus is very instructive of a man who had reconnected with his inner man and responsibilities, regardless of what had happened to him. To say that Frank Mir could not have  found this inner focus, especially after Lesnar’s unsportsmanlike demonstrations,  is to absolve him of personal responsibility in a way that belittles  him as a man.

We do have a theory though: Frank found it hard to recover mentally or emotionally because by the time the fight rolled along, he had already invested  too much in the mental and emotional bet of trash talking – and that the trash talking may just have been motivated by his own fears of what Lesnar would do to him. Remember that Frank had tussled with Lesnar at UFC 81 and had a pretty good idea of the kind of power Lesnar had. Fighters have a special place for these kinds of memories.

Whichever way one analyzes this, it is clear that Frank never really recovered from the gambit he committed himself to after UFC 81. Our theory would more than explain why someone who had won that fight would resort to over-the-top  trash talking as the next fight approached.  The champion/interim champion issue doesn’t explain the ensuing back-and-forth that ended up with quite a bit of ill-feeling as UFC 100 would show.

Case closed? Hardly. We are just clearing our throats.  Come back in about 24 hours for the fleshing out of this theme. This latest outburst by Frank Mir shows that he is not reliably in touch with the bounds of propriety. This greatly diminishes his status within the MMA community. This is baggage Frank does not need. Beyond his a need to handle his octagon demons better, he is faced with the nearly insurmountable task of winning back the fan goodwill that was his for the taking prior  to UFC 81.

Coming up in this article:

  • What the heck was wrong with Mir’s statement and why he doesn’t seem to be getting it. See Ben Fowlkes article under “Appendices.”
  • Like Lesnar before him, he has frittered away his P.R. advantage – and for what?

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Appendices:

Frank Mir needs to learn to keep his mouth shut (Cyberaxis)

Mir can’t understand backlash to provocative Lesnar comments (Ben Fowlkes, Inside MMA)

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)