Last night at UFC 164 from Milwaukee, former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir was thoroughly handled by fellow former champ Josh Barnett on the feet, losing a first round stoppage via TKO. While “The Warmaster” looked every part of the destructive master he claimed to be, the fight showed no signs of the potential grappling war that many were hoping it turned out to be.
It was not without controversy, however, as Mir protested the referee stoppage as being too early. He believed himself coherent and able to fight on. Speaking at the post-fight conference, Mir believes he was “screwed,” causing the fans to lose out in the process:
"Obviously I thought it was a bad stoppage. We're fighters. If every fight was stopped on any kind of a flash shot or anything like that — actually, I took the knee, and I remember going, 's--- I'm in a bad position.' And that's why I dropped my other knee out from underneath me so that could fall to the ground and make sure I didn't take a second one. And I actually looked at the referee stopping it.”
"I think the fans got robbed. I got screwed over. The fact that I trained so hard for that fight to keep up a pace that I knew I could have driven hard through for three rounds. Say what you will about Jackson's camp and game planning, [but] everybody comes in shape. I showed up in shape on the scale, I showed up in shape out there, with my motivation — it sucks to do everything right and just have the door shut on you."
Mir may believe that he was done an injustice at last night’s co-main event from Milwaukee, but from my point of view, he’s lucky they didn’t let the fight continue. It was a one-sided battle that mainly featured Barnett landing hard punches and brutal knees, and Mir was unable to mount a significant offense.
He may feel that he did everything right in preparation for the fight, but the bottom line is that a better man outdid him last night. Barnett has much to prove in his first Octagon contest in eleven years, and he announced his presence loudly as he’s been known to do.
Did you think their fight was stopped too early last night? It looked like even though Mir recovered quickly from Barnett’s last (And biggest) knee, he was done for a split second there. The referee can’t expect him to instantly come back to life. Fedor Emelianenko’s knockout loss to Dan Henderson comes to mind.
Meanwhile, “The Warmaster” will look to stalk down the rest of the division. Who should he square off with next Fabricio Werdum? Mark Hunt?