Frank Mir: I thought I was fighting Lesnar and that’s much bigger than fighting Todd Duffee

photo by Justin Fuller - Fight Corner

photo by Justin Fuller – Fight Corner

Since finishing Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva last month, Frank Mir is still trying to figure out what the best fight would be for him in the UFC. The former heavyweight champion had his heart set on battling it out with Brock Lesnar for a third time. But on Tuesday, it came to light that Lesnar had re-signed with the WWE and wouldn’t be returning to MMA.

UFC heavyweight Todd Duffee has been relentlessly pursuing a fight with Frank Mir in interviews and on social media. It started out with a call out while Duffee was a guest of MMA Junkie.

“I thought I was gonna get [Matt] Mitrione, but he got [Ben] Rothwell, and they’ve slowly matched up everyone in the top 15, it looks like, except one guy – so I’ve got to call him out,” Duffee said. “It’s not a grudge match – nothing like that. I have a lot of respect for the guy. But he’s No. 11, and with the new Reebok deal coming in, I’ve definitely got to beat those upper-echelon guys. I’m about to be 30. I’ve had a lot of time off in my career. I’d like to have a legend fight, and I’m looking at Frank Mir at No. 11.”

While Mir was co-hosting The Fight Corner, Duffee tweeted to the show:

To that tweet, Mir responded: “I’ll answer very specifically for Todd. I didn’t answer your call out because up until last night, I thought I was fighting Brock Lesnar. And I hate to break the news, that’s a much bigger fight for me than fighting Todd Duffee.”

On Tuesday, Lesnar announced on ESPN that his “legacy” in UFC was over. Lesnar re-upped his contract with WWE and made it clear that the ring, not the Octagon, would be his home. Mir said not having the trilogy with him was slighty upsetting.

“When he first left the sport, I resolved myself to the fact that [the trilogy] wasn’t going to come true,” said Mir. “And even when there was talks about his [WWE] contract being up in March and there was the rumors that first started about him possibly making a return, I wasn’t one of the first people to jump on that bandwagon.

“It was until about two weeks before the [Antonio] Silva fight that I actually thought there would be a legitimate opportunity for this to occur,” Mir added. “I led myself into thinking that was a real possibility, especially leading up to the last two weeks. If some of my friends would’ve asked me who I thought I was fighting, I’d would’ve been like, ‘I’m fighting Brock. We’re just working out the details.'”

On Wednesday while co-hosting The Fight Corner, Mir took questions from fans for the entire hour. Even after the realization that Lesnar wouldn’t be an option for his next fight, Mir wasn’t particularly interested in signing up to trade leather with Duffee. The no. 11 ranked heavyweight is looking to fight someone in the top ten. Currently, Duffee isn’t ranked.

“Obviously, like I said, I want to fight a guy who’s in the top five. Well, why would I want to do that? Because a win there obviously boosts my career forward. Fighting somebody who’s unranked – Todd’s a good fighter – to fight him with no upside…Look at it this way, I was a 3-to-1 underdog against “Bigfoot” [Silva] – up until the open workout, then it dropped slighty, some more money came in on me – but after the win, people are still saying ‘ well, the guy this, that’ and all the other stuff. He was ranked eighth. Could you imagine me fighting Todd Duffee, submitting him real quick? They’d be ‘That guy. Who’s he ever fought?’ Like, ‘What’s he ever done?’ I’m going to get zero credit.

“And you know, anytime we walk in the Octagon there’s always a risk,” Mir continued. “So I want to make sure there’s more upside than anything. Would I take a fight with Todd Duffee? I’ve taken a fight with anybody. But to face somebody who’s behind me, is not something I relish. I don’t think any fighter does and we have to do it. But we’d rather fight somebody that we know that’s ahead of us, that we have something to gain. It’s kind of like Highlander. I want to fight the guy, take the head of the guy that’s stronger than I am so I could take his power.”

Another fan had asked if Mir if he would be interested in a fight with Brendan Schaub. He didn’t immediately object, but again stated that “the biggest talk was a possible matchup with Lesnar.” Overall, Mir’s still trying to figure out who poses the most “upside” for him to confront.

Duffee has won three straight fights. He was out of action for almost two years upon discovering he had a condition known as Parsonage Turner Syndrome. At UFC 181, Duffee knocked out Anthony Hamilton in just 33 seconds.

Duffee also tried to call in to the show, but the show host and writer of this article had tweeted out the wrong phone line. Hopefully next week (with the right phone number in play), the two heavyweights can talk out this fight and perhaps, make it happen.

Before the show wrapped up, Mir posed a question to Duffee: “On-air he can articulate his thought process behind why he asked me for taking the fight. I would ask, well why? What advantages does it pose me and my career to fight him?”

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