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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Talk Radio: Can Frank Mir make it at Light Heavyweight and will Fedor’s career be complete if he doesn’t fight in the UFC?

By Zach Arnold | June 7, 2010

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The first of several passages from yesterday’s MMA Nation radio show that I wanted to focus on and get your comments about.

With Frank Mir openly talking about cutting down to Light Heavyweight, I find it hard to believe that he will able to make the cut consistently. Which brings us to the topic of whether or not there should be a Cruiserweight division. Most people who comment here on the site say no, given that the Heavyweight division worldwide isn’t that deep outside of the UFC, so why create another division with a shallow talent pool? That said, Cruiserweight would fit Frank Mir wonderfully.

JAMES KIMBALL: “That’s pretty surprising considering he spent the last year putting on considerable size and muscle to better compete with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. he weighed in at the maximum amount for a heavyweight at 265 at UFC 11, so he’s thinking dropping 60 pounds.”

LUKE THOMAS: “I think he can make it.”

JAMES KIMBALL: “Yeah, he said that when he stands next to Forrest Griffin he thinks that he’s in the wrong weight class.”

LUKE THOMAS: “Well, Forrest Griffin is enormous.”

JAMES KIMBALL: “He’s a very big Light Heavyweight.”

LUKE THOMAS: “He’s a very big guy. I definitely think it’s a better move for him. I think the first fight is going to be a real litmus test of… listen, is Frank Mir just one of those Cruiserweight guys? He might be. One of the kinds of guys who you know if you’re at 225, 230, it’s a lot easier to get to 205 than 240 and you would say well that’s sort of obvious, you’re 10-15 pounds less. That 225 to 240 window I think is a different kind of guy, is a different sized guy. You go from linebacker to tight end at that point, you know what I mean? Do you go from 6’2″ 220 to 6’4″ 250, 245? I think it’s a different physically-sized guy. Like, if I was in dramatic shape I could probably make 205 but at the end of the day I’m a more slender kind of 240. Frank Mir is a humongous 240.”

JAMES KIMBALL: “That’s too bad because Dana said that there are no plans for a Cruiserweight division, so yeah he’s kind of stuck in no man’s land right now.”

LUKE THOMAS: “But I think the lesson here is that as strong as he got with that stuff and it did help probably a little bit, you can’t pretend to be something you’re not.”

With all of the questions about Mir’s next move in MMA, the same can be same for Fedor Emelianenko once his fight with Fabricio Werdum happens at the end of this month. How will you best remember his career in say 5 or 10 years? Will you view it as a complete career or will you view it as a book that could have been great but wasn’t because you felt empty and cheated at the end?

LUKE THOMAS: “Here’s what I think — I think they will go to the negotiating table when this contract is done. If they don’t find anything suitable, he will retire. In other words, if they can’t take somebody to the cleaners on this, like really get M-1 branding really get co-promotion really get everything they said they wanted then they’ll probably walk. I mean, do I at the end of the day, do I really really believe that Fedor because you know if he goes to the UFC they’re not going to give him anybody like a (Randy) Couture. I mean, that would do big money, but they’re going to give him a Brock Lesnar. They’re going to give him a Shane Carwin. They’re going to give him a Cain Velasquez. Sorry, I mean, you want to fight those guys? Really? I don’t know. I would be, I think this report is more right than Evgeni Kogan is letting on.”

JAMES KIMBALL: “So you’re thinking maybe a win over Werdum, a fight against (Alistair) Overeem maybe late Fall or this Winter and that’s wraps?”

LUKE THOMAS: “Dude, if he beats Overeem, at that point there’s… he’ll have cleaned out who he fought in PRIDE and then cleaned out who he fought in Strikeforce. Who is left?”

JAMES KIMBALL: “I hear you.”

LUKE THOMAS: “OK, Josh Barnett in PRIDE, that’s one more fight. Like if you really want to have a sustained career beyond that, at that point it’s checkmate. Now, the truth is that his leveraging power after beating Rogers and beating Werdum and beating Overeem will be even greater, will be even greater and plus all the insults they’ve went through, his leveraging power will be quite considerable but even then I think they’re going to use that power to back out.”

Topics: M-1, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Talk Radio: Can Frank Mir make it at Light Heavyweight and will Fedor’s career be complete if he doesn’t fight in the UFC?”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Mir would get beaten by the Top Light Heavyweights. I bet he regrets bulking up now that he is thinking up cutting weight.

    There will always be a “what if” on Fedor’s resume if he doesn’t compete in the UFC. Especially with all of the talent they have in that division right now.

    The thing is, he can clear out whoever use to fight in PRIDE…. But anybody with a decent eye for fighting can see that what is happening in the UFC right now is the next step up in competition. Rogers and Barnett do not give him those sort of credible opponents.

  2. Tradition Rules says:

    Just me, but I think a Cruiserweight division is a good idea.

    There is currently no need for a Super-Heavyweight division, I’ll agree with that. That may change down the road. But there are some guys who might be a natural 215-230 pounder. Does it REALLY make sense to put a guy who would be at his most competative weight at 210 or 215 in the cage with either Lesnar or Carwin? What id Valasquez decides to bulk up to 250 or 255 for a fight?

    So fighter “X” has to decide to fight at either 205 as his max weight or face a guy who can potentially be as heavy as 265 for a shot at either the Light Heavy weight Title or the Heavyweight Title and nothing in between?

    Having a Cruiserweight division might have some guys move from both Light Heavyweight & Heavyweight to this division, but if it makes for more competative fights if it is a fighters morenatural weight, doesn’t it make sense?

    I have no desire to see Brock beat up a 215-220 pounder or a guy at 240 who is only this heavy because he HAS to be.

    A 60 pound weight swing between two weight divisions is just rediculous. I understand that Dana loves the fact that the LHW division is super deep in talent right now & that the HW division is at its best in a very long time, but saying that ther is no need for a Cruiserweight division is nothing but a spin.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      No to Cruiserweight. Anybody walking around at 230 or less should be able to make the LHW cut. Which means the HW division is for 235 and up. And there has never been proof that the smaller HW’s cannot compete at HW.

      The next generations of Noguiera’s and Fedor’s will be entering the sport at LHW based on their body frames. And a few of the HW’s could make the cut to 205 if they got in shape. Like Nelson, Russow, maybe even Rogers.

      So a Cruiserweight class is pointless at this point.

      • Tradition Rules says:

        I, respecfully, disagree. 🙂

        Some guys naturally are lighter in weight, while others, are naturally heavier.

        What if someone is naturally 235 or 240, but fights best at 215 or 220? Would it seem competative if he is in line for a title shot to have to fight Brock?

        For some fighters, YES, it would.

        For others NO, it wouldn’t.

        A great deal of it is genetics and varies from person to person.

        Is it fair to say that “someone should be able to make 205″ , but is most comfortable at a slightly higher weight closer to their natural weight?

        And is it fair then to say that someone should be able to put MORE weight on and have to move up to a heavier weight class if they are so much taller then almost everyone else in their current weight class? Someone like Kendall Grove, who is 6′ 6″ and 185?

        Being that tall and that light CAN certainly be a detriment, but if he was to learn how to sprall so well that a fighter that is 5′ 8” couldn’t take him down, some would argue that it is not fair with his reach advantage just because he makes WEIGHT for the middleweight division.

        This is more just me talking to generate coversation then anything :)…but I think it DOES ask some vaild questions.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          At any weight class except Heavyweight, if a fighter doesn’t want to cut any or little weight, he is at a severe disadvantage. Which basically means all fights have to cut a good amount of weight. It’s just part of the sport. And their bodies must deal with that cut and make it work for their competiion. Anybody who walks around at 220 to 230 shouldn’t get a free pass.

          Not to mention Heavyweight is the one division that has shown that smaller guys for that weight class are extremely effective.

  3. Mark says:

    Frank would be big at 205 but practically everybody there walks around at 220 or more so it’s not the huge size advantage it may seem on paper. It’s not like he can drop to 205 and then come into the fight the next day back at 250. I think he’d do ok but I can’t see him beating any of the top 5 LHWs.

    As for Fedor being hurt if he quit MMA after beating Werdum, Overeem and Barnett. No, I don’t think it would hurt Fedor’s legacy much to people giving it a fair assessment, it would just put him in a different category. He’ll be remembered for the PRIDE era of Heavyweights from 2002-2006 which was one of the greatest periods in MMA. Of course it will obviously get his haters saying he was overrated and protected, blah blah blah. But that will cool off when they no longer have Dana promos working them up and rankings to obsess over. Then they’ll watch the fights removed from the rage directed at M-1 and realize how great he was in his era. It would be like downgrading how great Royce Gracie was in 93-96 because he didn’t stay to fight the crop of fighters after he left like Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Jerry Bohlander, Pat Miletich, ect. But lots of fighters stay around for part of the next generation and leave without making a dent on it without everybody claiming their legacy is ruined, so this isn’t anything new.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      History is told by the victors. White is the messenger. That will not change for a very long time. If anything, Fedor’s legacy will only be more trashed by him if he never signs with the UFC.

      That’s just the way things work.

      • 45 is right. The media allows Dana to control the narrative. Doesn’t matter how correct it is. Fedor could beat a bunch of mediocre guys, maybe get a really big name or two to defect from the UFC to fight (happened before), beat them, and it still won’t matter.

        • Mark says:

          I realize that. I said people who give it a fair assessment, which includes making up your own mind and not just going “Well, Dana says he wasn’t good.”

        • Isaiah says:

          That’s a function of the fact that there really is no good MMA media. If the sport continues to grow, that will change and the nutty pro-Zuffa bias will eventually go away.

      • Isaiah says:

        The problem is that there is video of Fedor. When discussions about him become less politicized, as they inevitably will, people will judge him by the tape and he’ll be regarded as the clear p4p GOAT.

        • Steve says:

          The problem with that theory is that Zuffa owns the video rights to all of the fights which made Fedor a legend. There is no way anyone can put together a retrospective on Fedor’s career without access to the Zuffa vault, and you can bet your ass that footage is going to be left to rot in a store room somewhere at Zuffa HQ.

        • IceMuncher says:

          Video tape won’t be enough if people don’t care about the people he’s beaten. They’ll watch a fight with Fedor vs random guy they’ve never heard of, and say “Who are these guys and why do I care? They’re not even in the UFC. Carwin/Lesnar/etc was 10x’s better than these schmucks.”

          So you’ll have to explain how Pride was the best ever, and that Big Nog and Crocop are amazing fighters. However, the majority of casual fans know those two as guys that came to the UFC and got creamed, so you’ll be having a hell of time explaining why those fighters were so great back when Fedor beat them but when they came to the UFC a short time later they sucked. You’ll have similar problems with Arlovski and Sylvia and the rapid devaluement they had within a year of fighting Fedor.

  4. Steve says:

    Frank will look painfully slow against the competition at LHW. Dropping down would be a HUGE mistake for him. He just needs to accept that he is a natural 250 pounder and devote himself to improving his skills, particularly his defensive skills off his back.

  5. Mr. Roadblock says:

    Couple of interesting topics here.

    1. I don’t think Mir would even be that competitive at 205. I don’t think he’d have a speed advantage on the top guys in striking. He should have advantages on the ground if he can get the fight there. But there’s no way of knowing what the weight cut would take out of him.

    2. There is no need for a 220-230 lb division. As 45 correctly pointed out all guys that weigh that are down at 205. HW is really 230 on up. The last thing we need are more weight classes to dilute the talent pool.

    What about all the guys who fight at 185 and can’t beat Anderson Silva? Should we make 178 a weight for them? Frank Mir can’t beat the best HW’s so we make a new weight class. That’s retarded.

    3. If Fedor doesn’t fight the top guys in UFC right now he’ll go into the books with Rickson Gracie. A small but fanatical fanbase who swears he’s the best ever, a larger equally fanatical fanbase who thinks he was very good but being called the best without defending that legacy makes him a fraud, and the vast majority of people who don’t even know who he is/was.

    Fedor’s best fights were seen by a few hundred thousand people in the US. The Rogers fight is the only one that had big viewership. There are scores of great boxers from the 20’s -50’s that no one ever talks about anymore and history forgot (Bert Sugar has a great book called ‘Boxing’s Greatest Fighters’ where you can read about them).

    • The Gaijin says:

      I cannot believe you tried to make a legitimate argument of comparing the legacy of Rickson Gracie, a fighter with a COMPLETELY hand-picked list of singular disciplined Japanese opponents and a largely unverifiable “400-0” record based off fights on the beach and closed door dojo challenges, to that of an actual modern day mixed martial artist who has completely ruled a division with true world class mixed martial arts fighters and has a documented record of doing so.

      Seriously…Rickson Gracie?

  6. Tradition Rules says:

    Mr. Roadblock says:

    “There is no need for a 220-230 lb division. As 45 correctly pointed out all guys that weigh that are down at 205. HW is really 230 on up.”

    Well, if that were truely the case, LHW division would have a higher weight limit. There must be some reason why the LHW division caps out at 205.

    “The last thing we need are more weight classes to dilute the talent pool.”

    I agree 100% that, INITIALLY, it would have adverse affects on the HW & possibly the LHW division. But in the long run, I personally believe we would see enough competative fighters to full all three potential divisions again.

    “What about all the guys who fight at 185 and can’t beat Anderson Silva? Should we make 178 a weight for them?”

    NO.

    But there is a big difference with a 20 pound range in a weight division (middleweight) and a 60 pound range in another(heavyweight).

    “Frank Mir can’t beat the best HW’s so we make a new weight class. That’s retarded.”

    Well, I would have to agree with this, if Frank Mir’s possible decision to move to LHW is the ONLY REASON. 🙂

    • Mr. Roadblock says:

      A lot of people say Fedor is the best fighter in the world. Right?

      Fedor is what 6’1″ and 230 doughy pounds. He could cut to 205 if he had to. But he doesn’t . He fights at his walking weight.

      If Fedor who is 6’1″ and a soft 230 is the best fighter in the whole wide world and he can beat the big boys like Brock and Carwin, et al, why does there need to be a weight class between 205 and 265?

      See the logic falls apart.

      Frank Mir can’t beat Brock Lesnar because Brock can manhandle him and negate Frank’s jiu jitsu. But Tim Sylvia is bigger than Brock and Frank beat Tim with jiu jitsu.

      People over reacted about weight classes when Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis starting whipping people in boxing in the early 90’s. Right after a guy who was 5’9″ 215lbs (Tyson) was champ and as a guy who is 6’1″ 220 (Holyfield) was winning and losing the belts. In 03 Roy Jones won a HW belt and right now David Haye is in the mix.

      The best thing about the HW class is that it has a wide weight range. Everybody that is in that class is big and enough and strong enough that they should have one punch power. Weight classes are there to make competitive and meaningful fights between smaller human beings. If you’re a 220 or 230lb man you need to figure out how to whup a 265lb man without hiding from him in a superfluous weight class.

      • klown says:

        Problem with that is that you’re pointing to an exceptional case, namely Fedor.

        • Steve says:

          Fedor is hardly the exception. I would argue that the 230 pound (+/- 10 pounds) HW champions are the rule rather than the exception. Randy Couture defeats Tim Sylvia. Big Nog beats Bob Sapp. Cro Cop beats Josh Barnett. Throughout the history of the sport, the best HWs have always hovered in that 230 pound range.

          Until we see the big 265+ pound monsters run off an extended streak of dominance, there is no reason to split the weight class. Let’s revisit the idea when Brock is 10-1 or Carwin is 18-0. Personally, I suspect ‘little’ HWs like Velasquez & Dos Santos are going to solve the problem long before the need for a new weight class becomes clear.

  7. EJ says:

    1. This talk of Mir dropping to LHW is insane the guy is a legit HW and has fought around 245 pounds his whole career. He didn’t lose his last fight because Carwin was bigger he lost it because he had a horrible gameplan. Mir has obviously taken that loss harder than I initially thought, he might need mrs. Mir to give him another reality check soon.

    2. Fedor has no legacy if he never fights for the only mma org that matters, it’ll be like a great overseas NBA player who won tons of international awards yet never played for the NBA. You can’t be called the greatest basketball player if you don’t play in the best basketball league.

    • Isaiah says:

      It’s not really anything like that because MMA is an individual sport. If a basketball team was facing and beating many of the best teams in the world over a period of a decade, it would be considered a great team, and its players would be considered great players.

      I think it would be more like if a great boxer beat a lot of top guys but never worked with the top promoter of his time, which has happened many times with no apparent effect on the legacy of the fighters.

      • Steve says:

        In the minds of hardcore fans, Fedor will be recognized as an all-time great without a doubt.

        Among casual fans, I suspect he’ll be viewed more like Sadaharu Oh rather than Babe Ruth.

  8. Isaiah says:

    Why would Zuffa sit on Fedor footage if he’s retired? There would be no reason for it anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them put out a Best of Fedor DVD the day he actually retires for good.

  9. Chromium says:

    There just is not enough depth at Heavyweight to warrant a Cruiserweight division right now. This is the first time where the HW division has actually been “deep” at all. That being said, eventually there just may be enough talent out there, at which point I think a 225 lbs. division may be legitimately warranted. However, if they did that, I’d really like to see them raise the limit on HWs by 10 lbs. I doubt many people would agree with me on the latter though.

    As for Fedor, StrikeForce should probably do the following if they want the winner of Overeem/Fedor to have viable challengers:

    1) Sign Josh Barnett as soon as Fedor beats Werdum. As stated, he’s about the only guy out there other than Overeem who’s a remotely credible opponent for Fedor. Give Barnett a semi-credible opponent to build him up a bit. Hell, give him Lashley.

    2) At the same time, start a 16-man HW #1 Contender’s Tournament. Start it as soon as possible so that the winner of Fedor/Overeem vs. Barnett won’t have to wait very long. If you have a tournament with Everyone Else, the winner will almost have to be a credible opponent since they’ll be coming off four consecutive televised victories. If StrikeForce is lucky, Bigfoot will win this thing, but even still, this gives Fedor four more marketable fights before he has completely exhausted his options.

  10. Artemis says:

    Fedor is known around the world, not just United States. and if some TUF fans don’t know who Fedor is who cares? The real fans of MMA will know who Fedor is. There will always be new fighters, better and better fighters always appear. If Fedor beats Carwin, Lesnar, and Cain those victories will only be temporary honored until a new breed of fighters show up. Then we will have the same discussion if Fedor doesn’t fight these new fighters then he is nothing. Eventually he will have to retire, and there will always be fighters he won’t have a chance to fight.

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