Frank Mir has well and truly been there and done it in the UFC's Heavyweight division. He has fought some of the best fighters on the planet, earning himself the title twice during his UFC tenure. On the way Mir has also collected arms and legs from his opponents due to his superior BJJ skills.
With all his success Mir has also experienced some pretty heavy losses, and I don't think this is down to him being a bad fighter. I think Mir is truly a top tier fighter even though many disagree, and I also think he has a real shot of beating Cormier, if the best Frank Mir shows up.
What I mean by that is the kind of Mir that showed up against Brandon Vera, Brock Lesnar (2nd match), Shane Carwin or Junior dos Santos just will not cut it. So why does such a talented guy have so many occasions in the UFC where he just seems vacant? For me it's a combination of things.
Firstly I don't think his training camps have been of suitable quality. His cardio hasn't been up to scratch, his gameplans have been at times absurd, and he just didn't seem focused on fight night. For example, in his fight with Carwin he seemed like he had checked out. On the way to the ring Mir's eyes seemed glazed, almost empty and once the ref signalled the start of the fight it was clear that Carwin was going to ruin the former champ.
In contrast to his sub-par performances, Mir has some seriously good wins. Anyone who can boast two finishes over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a top level fighter in my opinion. His boxing in the first Nogueira fight was super slick. His submission game in the rematch was so tight, but I'm left wondering 'Which Frank Mir will show up on Saturday?'.
I think that Mir's recent changing of camps could be a huge factor. Moving to Jackson's will undoubtedly be the greatest move of his career win or lose against Cormier. My thinking behind that is that Jackson's fighters are renowned for their excellent use of gameplans. As well as this it has been reported that Mir has trained very hard on cardio and conditioning.
In summary, I think that if Mir can stick to a gameplan, his mind is in the game and he has worked his cardio then the Frank Mir that shows up on Saturday will finish Cormier. Stay tuned to Lowkick!