SAN JOSE, Calif. — Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir never has been shy about expressing his opinions. But even so, Mir’s recent comments in which he claimed he didn’t want to accept his Bellator 231 headlining fight with Roy Nelson was surprising.
“They were like, ‘Hey, we want you to fight Roy on Aug. 23 or 24, and I turned it down,” Mir said last week during a diatribe on the “Phone Booth Fighting” podcast. “I was like, ‘Ah, I really don’t want to fight Roy.’”
But the Oct. 24 bout in Uncasville, Conn., a rematch of a UFC 130 meeting that Mir (18-13 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) won via unanimous decision, was indeed made. And the idea that Mir didn’t want the fight was news to Bellator president Scott Coker.
Speaking to MMA Junkie following Bellator 226 ceremonial weigh-ins, Coker said that when Mir’s comments started making the rounds, he looped back on his communications leading up to the fight signing and found Mir gave thumbs up to the bout.
“I heard that he wasn’t happy about the fight,” Coker said. “But this is, I talked to my guys about it, and I said, ‘What happened?” And they said (Mir) wanted the fight, and I looked at all the texts, and they were like ‘thumbs up,’ from Frank, so thumbs up to me means he wants to do it, you know? So we put the fight together.”
Coker, who usually does his best to accentuate the positives of a situation and stay away from badmouthing people, is blunt about the stakes in this fight between a pair of 40-somethings. Mir has lost four in a row and has been finished in his past three. Nelson (23-17 MMA, 1-3 BMMA) has dropped his past three in a row.
The winner of this fight will have the chance to turn things around, but it might be the end of the Bellator road for the loser.
“Really it’s a fight that both of those guys are coming off a defeat, actually, so you say, ‘OK, which one is going to be able to turn it around?’” Coker said. “And this fight is that one for them in their career. You know, this is the time that they got to deliver, and I think it might be the winner moves forward, and the loser goes home, maybe.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Scott Coker says Frank Mir gave thumbs up on Roy Nelson fight, loser could get cut