UFC 100: Lesnar, Mir Put Animosity Aside, Preparation to the Forefront

The excitement from the mixed martial arts community continues to rise as the days grow shorter until the Mandalay Bay Events Center plays host to UFC 100, featuring the greatest card in the history of the organization.

The card features five live fights, including two title bouts, between some of the best fighters the UFC has to offer.

The welterweight championship features Georges St. Pierre in a match with top contender Thiago “Pitbull” Alves in a bout that many have deemed too close to call.

However, the title fight that is making waves through the fans and the media is the bout between superstar Brock Lesnar and jiu-jitsu specialist Frank Mir as the two step foot in the octagon together for the second time.

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The first battle between these two heavyweights was Brock Lesnar’s debut in the UFC, along with his first loss. However, the tides have turned for Lesnar as he now sits atop the UFC heavyweight division as the champion, yet his championship is not undisputed.

After becoming the first man to finish Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a fight, Frank Mir gained the UFC heavyweight interim belt and a rematch with Brock Lesnar to decide the undisputed champion of the division.

The UFC deemed this epic event worthy of two media teleconferences, with the first featuring the welterweights. On July 1, part two of the teleconferences took place as Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar sat down for the media just over one week before their championship bout.

While the two had shown great animosity towards one another in the weeks and months leading up to this point, the call actually was quite mild compared to what may have been expected.

Mir, who is garnering attention through his comments suggesting Lesnar is not a mixed martial artist, but rather a professional fighter, explained Lesnar’s advancement in the sport on several occasions.

“The hardest part has been watching tape on him because you don’t know much more he is going to improve with each fight,” explained Mir. “You look at his first fight and he flew across the cage. Then the next fight from Heath to Randy you see him very composed. It is only taking him one fight to fix certain things.”

However, the inability to understand exactly how great the improvements achieved by Lesnar from fight to fight has actually made some aspects of preparation easier for Mir. Stated simply, Mir realizes that he must prepare for a Brock Lesnar never seen before.

“It makes it difficult on my part to sit there and assess what we’re going to prepare for,” explained Mir. “On the flip side of that, I guess, to make it easy, we just went ahead and prepared for the worst case scenario; that Brock knows everything I know about mixed martial arts, and on top of the he’s stronger and bigger and faster than I am. That’s what you have to train.”

With the praise from Mir, Lesnar was still asked about the comments regarding his status as a mixed martial artist given by the interim champion, to which he gave a simple, yet somewhat terse response.

“He’s got his desires to fight, and I’ve got mind,” stated Lesnar. “I truly love what I’m doing. It just so happens that I get paid a lot more money than he does. At the end of the day, whoever’s happy, that’s his prerogative. I’m happy with the way I’m doing it. Hopefully, he’s happy with the way he’s doing it.”

However, Lesnar’s main focus remained on the task at hand, preparing for his match up with Mir on July 11. The champion also explained how preparation and improvement in every area is vital for his advancement as a fighter, and keeping hold of his heavyweight gold.

“I bill myself as a fighter now, and I want to evolve and make myself a well-rounded fighter,” stated the heavyweight champ. “So obviously I’m not going to leave any stone unturned when it comes to submissions, submission defense, striking, knees, leg kicks, and also learning to defend everything.”

With the rumored hatred between the two being masked throughout the media call, the animosity displayed previously was once again brought to the forefront. Lesnar and Mir have taken jabs at one another ever since the first fight left the former WWE star with a bad taste in his mouth, and a longing for revenge.

However, each fighter denied the hard feelings when the subject was inevitably brought up.

“I don’t have any animosity. I don’t dislike Frank in any way other than he has a win over me,” explained the former WWE superstar. “This is a sport and I consider myself a gentleman, and sportsmanlike conduct takes precedence. When it comes to July 11 and us getting into the Octagon, we definitely won’t be best friends. Like I said, I hate to lose and revenge will be the key factor for me.”

Mir followed that up with his thoughts on the suggested antipathy the two were thought to bear.

Through another monologue of his, Frank Mir explained,“There should never be harsh feelings with someone you compete with. Any professional athlete, when you get him going talking about his competitor, we will get riled up and were ready to go.”

However, the animosity seems undeniably existent between the two, and Mir saw fit to explain why it possibly does exist.

“If there is any animosity, I think it’s coming from both of us in that we don’t have the respect we fully want in the division,” stated Mir. “Brock is coming in with only four fights. He wants to push forward with his credibility. And for me, after my accident, I had so many bad fights in a row. Now coming back on the winning streak I am looking to create that respect for myself as well.”

UFC 100’s main card features the best combinations of fights the UFC has ever afforded. With two title bouts, “Ultimate Fighter” coaches squaring off, and two more fights deciding divisional contendership and rank, this card has been deemed “one for the ages”.

Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar are set to headline the main event with their rematch, looking to put to rest the interim belt. With the unrivaled power and strength claimed by Brock Lesnar, and the jiu-jitsu prowess of Frank Mir, UFC 100 will see heavyweight sparks fly, as two of the division greats compete for the top spot in the UFC’s heavyweight kingdom.

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