Frank Mir was brought to the forefront of the world’s MMA stage back in 2009 for UFC 100 when he took on Brock Lesnar. Yet, as the promotion approaches its bicentennial celebration this weekend for UFC 200, the legendary former heavyweight champ has asked to be released from his contract.
Mir told Ariel Helwani that because he has been banned for two years following his first round KO at the hands of Mark Hunt and subsequent positive test for a banned substance after the bout, he cannot even work for UFC in a broadcasting capacity.
As he pointed out to Helwani, without fighting as a viable option and any chance of working as a broadcaster with UFC being taken away, he is hoping to seek out employment from another organization to support his family.
“Even if it was a reduced sentence of one year I have children that are very active in private school and different endeavors. Without fighting and work, yet alone a year never mind two years, it’s not feasible. Hopefully, the UFC would just release me so I could go off and follow broadcasting and fighting in different avenues.”
Since finding out that he will not be able to work with UFC, Mir has asked the promotion to allow him to be released from his contract, but there has yet to be any movement on the situation. According to the Las Vegas native, he has never been given an opportunity to commentate for the promotion, despite being widely acclaimed for his work with the now-defunct WEC in the past.
Unable to compete until his ban is up in April 2018, Mir is hopeful that he will secure a role with a different promotion.
“It seems like with UFC getting on the desk or the table cage side to do any kind of commentating hasn’t come to fruition. I’ve been asking for years to be put into the rotation with Kenny (Florian) and those guys.
“They’re doing a great job, but I want to get in there and feels like the door has been shut for me. The silver lining of the situation is, maybe another opportunity will open up for me with another organization.”
USADA notified Mir that he had tested positive for oral turinabol metabolites on April 7, but he is adamant that he does not know where the substance came from, claiming he “can’t figure out why this one particular metabolite comes up”. He also insisted “something doesn’t add up” with regard to the testing.
Mir has underlined his financial situation as one of the main reasons that he wants to be released. Told that he could be present when ‘Sample B’ was opened, Mir explained that the cost alone of travelling to the lab in Tokyo, the same lab that found the discrepancy with ‘Sample A’, didn’t make sense given that it was unlikely that the same lab would say their results were wrong.
Mir would have had to pay for his travel, the testing, and an attorney, and when he requested that the sample be sent to the US, he was denied.
“(Bringing the test to the US) would’ve accomplished many goals,” he told Helwani. “For one, there would have been a different lab technician and completely different lab working on the sample. And, it would have been easier for me to get to Salt Lake City than it is to get to Tokyo.
“They told me that they had collected the samples but it was up to me if I wanted to test them. (They said) I would have to foot the bill and pay for the testing out of my own pocket as well as getting an attorney to represent me. It started to look very difficult to fight, and at the end if I’m not allowed to fight or broadcast, I have to think about savings and my children. I made a calculated decision to forgo trying to battle it anymore.”
While Mir’s has opted to sit out the two years, it seems very unfair that the former heavyweight champion’s opportunities to support his family have been obscured by the situation. Given his opting to not seek out some kind of clearance based on the ‘Sample B’ test, it is very likely that it will be the full two years that we see Mir on the sidelines for, and not the one year reduced sentence he hoped for.
Winning his first UFC heavyweight title back in 2004, now 37-years of age, Mir may never compete again due to the positive test. Certainly, if he manages to get a broadcasting job with another promotion in the meantime, it seems very unlikely that he would choose to return to the sport with another means to support his family already on the table.
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