Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir recently spoke with FOX Sports.com about his UFC 191 bout against Andrei Arlovski and stated that he feels that he’s the best he’s been in some time.

“This is the best I’ve ever been,” Mir told FOX Sports recently. “I hope a year from now, that will be the best I’ve ever been. That’s one thing that really keeps me from wanting to retire is that I’m improving. If you’re seeing improvements and getting better and not going backwards, it inspires you to go out there and keep pushing it.

“And really that’s why I fight — I go out there, I love martial arts, I love what it teaches me about myself, breaks myself down and I go out there and perform. Going out there and performing against other world class fighters showcases and brings out the truest in what I’m doing and how I’m living. I can go back and work and improve and strive to be a better person.”

Mir (18-9) is currently on a two-fight winning streak. In his last six bouts, he’s 2-4. He lost to Junior Dos Santos in at Heavyweight championship bout at UFC 146 in the second round by TKO. He then lost another three bouts against Daniel Cormier in April of 2013 by unanimous decision, was knocked out in the first round by Josh Barnett at UFC 164 and then lost in a three-round war to Alistair Overeem at UFC 169 by decision. He rebounded with a first-round KO of Antonio Silva in February of 2014. He knocked out Todd Duffee in the first round at UFC Fight Night 71.

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Mir has showed off his new boxing style as of late but knows deep down that he still has ground skills that his opponents need to be aware of. Those skills can and will end a fight at anytime.

“I think everybody still has to be threatened by my ground attacks, which is still something I work on religiously. I want to be good on the ground and I love submissions,” Mir said. “If you ask me if I would rather win a fight by knockout or by submission, I still choose submission.”

“Chokes are my favorite thing in the world. I’ve just always been amazed by the ability to put a choke on somebody and it’s like ninja magic. I don’t care how tough you are, you put a choke on somebody, they go to sleep.”

UFC 191 will be here before we know and for Mir, he wants Andrei Arlovski to know that he’s closer to a title fight sooner than Arlovski is. Prior to this fight announcement, most expected Andrei Arlovski to be given a UFC heavyweight championship bout with Fabricio Werdum, but that was not the case. Now, he will need a win over Mir to get that shot.

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Mir knows what it’s like to be a champion and wants to be that again soon. So come UFC 191, this fight is huge for him.

“Andrei, if he’s successful in September, I think he’s closer to a title fight right now because he has four wins in a row and this would be my third win in a row,” Mir said.

“Right now there’s still guys out there who are closer to a title shot than I am. If Stipe (Miocic) is able to be successful over (Ben) Rothwell, there’s a strong argument for him to be there, but I think it definitely puts you in the conversation where one more win over a top five guy and I’m right there knocking on the door.”

UFC 191 will be held on September 5, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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