coach Frank Mir
thinks Dave Kaplan
is going to give Junie Browning
a beatdown in Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Finale.
"Junie will quit," Mir told me. "You saw that against Efrain (Escudero). He fought hard for a few minutes, but when he realized that Efrain is a tough guy, he laid down. That choke only took three or four seconds to develop. No one's ever going to choke me with that. He was looking for an excuse to lose the fight. In his mind it was better to tap than get knocked out."
But while Mir thinks Browning is weak, he has a lot of respect for Kaplan.
"David Kaplan is really tough mentally," Mir said. "If he follows his game plan he'll win the fight. Kaplan's leg kicks are vicious. If David chooses to put his hands down and do what he did against Philippe (Nover) and take two or three shots in a row, then yeah, anyone can get dropped."
Mir sees a lot of promise in Browning, but he questions whether Browning will ever commit himself to his sport.
"I think Junie, if he matures, can be good," Mir said. "I picked him first for a reason. I saw a lot of potential in the guy. He's a good athlete, he has a lot of potential as a fighter. He's just so mentally weak, and I couldn't see that on the first day of training when I picked him. Is Junie going to change overnight? I don't see it. In two or three years, maybe, but not now. Kaplan runs seven miles before he starts every workout. I guarantee Junie doesn't run seven miles in a week."
Overall, Mir said he resents the way Browning made MMA look bad with his antics on The Ultimate Fighter
"People have told me I looked like I was in a bad mood," Mir said. "Let's see you hang out with Junie for three hours and see how bad a mood you're in. What are we teaching people when they watch this? That if you have potential and can make people money you can do whatever the f**k you want?"
Mir was especially troubled by an incident between Browning and Shane Primm in the Ultimate Fighter
"If we were in the real world, he'd get arrested," Mir said of Browning, who threw a glass at Primm. "Shane Primm, my hat's off to him that he could keep his composure, but guess what, in the real world, Shane would have punched Junie in the face, and Shane is 220 pounds and would have given him an ass whooping."
Mir said he found it especially baffling that Browning was allowed to stay on the show when, on the previous season of The Ultimate Fighter
, Jesse Taylor
was kicked off for actions that were seemingly less egregious.
"I felt bad for Jesse Taylor," Mir said. "He has to be, like, 'What's going on here?'"
Mir added, "The reality show shouldn't be called a reality show. Ninety percent of what you saw is fake and orchestrated. Why is the house filled with alcohol? Why is Junie able to assault and batter people and throw glasses at them? It's an environment that's not real. ... I voted Junie off. I said I don't agree with this, I have a 16-year-old son, this is a horrible example of how you should behave. I, as a head coach, would have rather had Junie kicked off the show."
As a coach, Mir was annoyed with Browning when Browning suggested that he didn't want to fight, and seemed to want Mir to talk him out of quitting.
"If I'm coaching you as a fighter and you don't want to fight, I'm not going to waste time with you anymore," Mir said. "When I'm coaching guys who are full-grown men, I'm not going to sit there and pat you on the back. You know what I've gone through to be back in the UFC after I broke my leg? And I still went back and trained my ass off to get back to where I am, because I was driven to be back where I am right now."
Instead of dealing with guys like Browning in the future, Mir said he'd prefer that The Ultimate Fighter
implement simple rule: "You act like a moron, you're gone."