This Wednesday, it’s time for the third UFC event within only six days, when former heavyweight champion Frank Mir steps inside the Octagon against knockout artist Todd Duffee.
Mir was on site for Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale to promote his fight, and revealed an interesting story about Brock Lesnar to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. At the beginning of this year, a Lesnar comeback to the UFC was heavily rumored, until the polarizing former champion and arch enemy of Mir closed the door on a potential MMA return for good, when he signed a new contract with pro-wrestling organization WWE in March.
According to Mir, UFC brass was truly believing that Lesnar will sign up for a second MMA run and already had big plans for him.
“It definitely was the one I wanted, the first time I found out that he was calling me out and stuff,” Mir explained. “There was the talk, I mean… UFC powers that be, they told… I was under the impression that Brock was getting ready to sign, and that if that happens, I’d be the guy, as long as I did what I had to do with Bigfoot (Antonio Silva), that that could be a good fight to build up, you know: ‘He’s had a layoff, you’re coming off the win, let’s make this trilogy.’ I was hearing rumors of Madison Square Garden. So it caught me by surprise when they told me: ‘Oh, he’s just announced his retirement’. I was like: ‘Well, that’s kind of crazy, because there was some pretty high level people that I was speaking to, that told me that it was all but a done deal, that that was a signed contract.”
Lesnar, however, chose to stay with WWE instead, and signed a new multi-year contract with them, stating it has been a “hard decision to make” and that his “legacy in the Octagon is over”.
“Maybe financially, he was the guy that goes to two different car dealerships?” assumes Mir. “I think, maybe he just took advantage of the instant attention that he got by bringing up the UFC’s name, and so probably got a bigger contract with the professional wrestling organization. And that being said, maybe watching the Bigfoot fight, maybe that wasn’t the best for him to come off a layoff.”
Mir knocked out Bigfoot in the first round at UFC Fight Night 61 in February and is now slated to face Todd Duffee in the main event of UFC Fight Night 71 this Wednesday, in Dan Diego, California.
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