Sunday, July 12, 2009 | 7:08 a.m.
“This is just one of those things where it shows you that winning is not the only thing that creates a champion.”
Jennifer Mir’s words about her husband’s UFC 100 loss to Brock Lesnar explain the dichotomy of a fighter: It is equal parts victories and how a fighter conducts himself.
While he didn’t put in his best fighting performance, Frank Mir showed why he is regarded as a class act in the professional fighting world.
Mir’s wife sat by her husband at the ESPN Zone in New York-New York as he spent hours signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans at a private meet-and-greet session after the fight. “I haven’t seen the fight,” she said. “I was upstairs in the hotel room with the kids. I rode with them in the ambulance and the kids met us there. You know, they just wanted to see that he was OK. And he’s fine. They did a CAT scan; they did an X-ray and everything was fine. So that’s the most important thing.”
Though she did not watch Brock Lesnar’s after-fight antics — he flipped the bird to the crowd and slobbered for the cameras while dissing the event’s sponsor — she said, “Oh I heard what happened. I am totally proud (of my husband).” She has reason to be. Her husband wasn’t the one screaming, “I love it! Keep booing! Keep booing!”
She has a simple message for Mir’s opponent — “That’s why, Brock, that’s why everyone was rooting for my husband still while they were putting the belt on you.”
Despite her husband’s lackluster performance, Jennifer Mir knows, “He’s a true champion and everybody sees that. In the sport, there’s kind of like a brotherhood that goes on amongst all the fighters because there’s that respect they have for each other and the training that goes into each fight. Even the guys who have had the biggest feuds; afterwards, they still always respect each other.”
Frank Mir said that, “after I broke Tim Silva’s arm, we were having drinks at the House of Blues. That’s just the way it is. We’re all trained martial artists, but we’re all brothers.”
His wife says having the fight behind them “is like instant relief.” She is not worried for the future because, “I know he’s going to be OK; I know he’s always going to conduct himself properly. He’s still really young and he’s got a lot of years still left of this. This is just the business, another day at the office. It didn’t really go that well for us tonight, but you always take the good and the bad things out of fights and tonight, thanks to Brock, there were a lot of good things actually for us. Frank came in shape and he trained really well and he showed that he had heart. It’s just back to the drawing board.”