It was another night in the office for Mark Hunt, the 'Super Samoan' who at 42 served us a reminder that he is nowhere close to being done and it isn't crazy to be talking of title shots, after such a highlight-reel finish. His performance Sunday morning proved the old adage true that the last thing to go from an ageing fighter's arsenal is his power....and what power in those plus-size hands!
As always the case with one-on-one sports, especially of the combat variety, while it is the highest of highs for the winner, the downed opponent is more likely to experience feelings from the extreme end of the same spectrum. With Frank Mir on the receiving end of yet another brutal KO loss, the question begets - How much longer Mir?
Frank Mir has had a legitimate UFC Hall of Fame worthy career and is among the longest tenured fighters the company has had on the roster. He tied Tito Ortiz when he stepped into the Octagon last weekend, becoming the fighter with the most UFC appearances and has numerous other records to his name, in his long and stellar career with the world's largest fight promotion.
However, having had the long career like he has in the UFC's hardest hitting divisions, Mir has also accumulated a lot of damage in the process and is at a stage in his career where one has to wonder what is the point beyond which, doing what you do starts getting you diminishing returns. One of the first fighters to help break the 'mould' of a conventional MMA fighter, Frank Mir has always been known to be a very well-spoken, highly intelligent and articulate mind outside of the cage and a great ambassador and spokesperson of the sport in the media.
At 36 years of age and a record of 2-6 in his last 8 fights, one would most likely be right in saying that the best days of Frank Mir are behind him now. However, with someone like a Frank Mir, he has so much to offer to the sport that the opportunities that can come his way following the end of his career might just help him pick up where he leaves his career in competition.
But, for that to happen, it is essential that Mir has all his faculties and his abilities in order. Anybody who has followed combat sports for a long time is aware of the stereotypical 'washed up' fighter. The guy who isn't particularly sharp in his ways, with little recollection and slurred speech, inviting sympathy from all quarters. Sadly, with all the high-impact action in MMA, head and brain trauma is a reality that can affect fighters who have been on the receiving end of one knockout too many.
In his 11 defeats in the UFC, Mir has lost via KO 8 times which is worrying, more so considering that he is barely able to take a shot these days. The recent KOs of his at the hands of Hunt, Barnett and Dos Santos point to a Mir who at 36, may be carrying a body with the miles of a much older athlete. The banning of TRT treatment in 2014 was another major blow for the likes of Mir and 'Bigfoot' Silva, who have had documented issues with low testosterone levels.
Brian Stann, a former fighter turned full-time fight analyst, echoed similar thoughts when he advocated a move for the former UFC Heavyweight champion Mir to a desk job as a fight analyst.
“I don’t (need to see him fight anymore),” Stann said. “Everyone knows when they’ve seen me analyze sports, I’m really on the cautious side when it comes to retirement and putting yourself at risk. I think Frank Mir, the minute he retires, is an automatic induction into the (UFC) Hall of Fame. I would like to see him put a suit and tie on (and) come behind this desk because he’s forgotten more about this sport than most analysts will ever know.”
Hopefully, Mir listens to the counsel for his well-wishers and his family and caps off a stellar career with the UFC and takes the MMA broadcasting world by storm, like he did with the fighting world when he became a champion in 2004.