Esther Lin photo
This time around, he wants UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos to know that it would truly be a terrible shame if Mir was left with no choice but to snap his arm during their title fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
"If I grab his arm and he doesn't tap," said the former champion, "It's going to make me a little obsessive. I don't want to have to break his arm, but I want to win the fight."
This, of course, isn't entirely idle talk coming from Mir. The Las Vegas native is tied with Kenny Florian and Nate Diaz for the most UFC submission wins in the Unified Rules era with eight. Two of those involved fighters who let their arms snap rather than tap out: First against Tim Sylvia to win the title at UFC 48, and then again in his most recent bout, when he broke the arm of dos Santos' mentor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, with a Kimura.
"I don't like the fact Nogueira didn't tap and got his arm broken," said Mir. "I think he was sharp in the fight. I think he would have made me look better if he had tapped and gone on to win another fight in two or three months. You're only as good as your competition. If he doesn't fight anymore, then I beat a guy at the end of his career. If he goes and strings out two or three more wins, how good do I look now?"
So in Mir's perfect world, the best possible finish to UFC 146 would be for dos Santos to simply submit and call it a night if Mir traps him in an armbar.
"If he does tap, he's 28 years old, he's a great athlete, he's going to come back and do well," said Mir. "If he doesn't tap when he feels the pressure, I mean, come on guys, it's been 10 years, if you don't know what's about to happen by now..."
Meanwhile, for someone who claims he wasn't bothered by the comment, Mir sure has a lot to say about dos Santos' now-infamous comment that Mir "lacks heart." The former champ went on at length during Wednesday's open workouts in his attempt to debunk the notion.
"Dos Santos is a nice guy," Mir said. "He doesn't talk trash. Now he's the champ and here's people around him going ‘you've got the fighting thing down. You've got to try to sell the fights more, you've got to do the Brock [Lesnar] thing, get people interested, so you can be a complete game player for the UFC.' He's not very good at it. The first time he came out the door he fell on his face.
"You start calling out my heart? I got hit by a car, lost the title, had some [expletive] fights, had my back against the wall. Dana [White] will tell you himself he had a conversation with me, he said he was going to let me go if I lost to [Antoni] Hardonk. I beat Hardonk, I beat Lesnar, take on Nog for interim title, I'm the first to knock him out. You look at my record, in my last 10 fights, I'm 8-2. And you question my heart?"
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