Pep Talk Q&A: Death Threats, Stealing Rounds, Title Shots and More

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Fine Mir?

When Frank Mir went on a Pittsburgh radio show and said he wanted Brock Lesnar to suffer the first death due to Octagon-related injuries and wanted to break his neck he set the sport back years. Mir is classless for saying that and should be fined by the UFC. Don’t they have to do something to make sure that guys don’t say things like this can set us back?

Nick Davidson
New Jersey

Had a feeling we’d be getting a question on this topic!

Were Mir’s comments over the top? Sure. Do I think Brock makes his skin crawl? Yep. Do I sincerely think he wants to kill Brock? No. I remember sitting with Frank at a media event after we found out that the champ was ill and Frank publicly stated that he hoped Brock fully recovered because he knew he was a father and wanted him to be able to be there his family and provide for them.

I had the chance to interview Frank on Tuesday night after he apologized and get his perspective on the whole thing – check out what he had to say here.

Five Round Non-Title Fights

I read somewhere last year that the UFC had applied to the athletic commission for the right to host 5 round non-title main events & that they had won. Now I’m not sure if that’s true & obviously we haven’t seen any yet if they did, but it sounds like a great idea to me. It wouldn’t have made any difference this weekend but could have made the Randy-Vera & Rashad-Silva, both recent main events, far more interesting.

Neil S.

I hadn’t heard that the UFC applied to the athletic commission to host five-round non-title fights and I’d be very surprised if they did because Dana White is opposed to the idea. In fact, he reiterated that opposition this past weekend at UFC 110. I agree with Dana. I like the idea that title fights have a different structure by adding the “championship rounds”. It adds something to the mystique and what’s at stake when a belt is on the line. Additionally, how would the UFC decide which main event fights would be designated as five rounders? While it would have been irrelevant in the Velasquez/Nogueira fight, it would have been relevant in the fights you mentioned. Would every main event be a five rounder? Personally, I’ve seen just as many three round fights that I was glad to see come to a close as fights that I’d want to see continue. In fact, probably more. The sense of urgency that comes from a three round limit is preferable to me as well. Getting ready for five rounds is a much taller order for a fighter and I question if we’d see guys pacing themselves more. Last but not least, the UFC sometimes books four fights on the main card when there is a five round title affair on the card, and most fans would rather know they are getting more guaranteed fights on a non-championship Pay Per View, so I think there is a business element to keeping things the way they are that makes sense as well.

George a Contender?

I was really impressed with George Sotiropolos beating Joe Stevenson at 110. With his BJJ, I’d like to see him fight BJ Penn if he beats Frankie Edgar. The guy is 5-0 in the UFC now, so why not? Do you think it’s too soon or is he ready for a title shot?


(John O’Neill / Special to FIGHT!)

It would be hard not to be impressed with George’s performance against Joe. His grappling skills are top notch, particularly his transitions between positions. His standup in this fight looked considerably improved as well. That being said, I’m not prepared to say that he is ready for a title shot just yet. Yes, Mary, the win runs George’s UFC record to 5-0, but his four previous opponents were Billy Miles, Roman Mitichyan, George Roop and Jason Dent, none of whom are still with the UFC. Add in that Joe Stevenson has lost to BJ Penn, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez at 155 and there’s an argument at this point that he may be as much gatekeeper to the upper echelon of the division as top contender right now. In beating Joe Daddy, George put himself in the mix at 155, but he’ll have to start beating the likes of Florian, Gray Maynard and/or Tyson Griffin to get a shot at the belt.

Bisping Should Have Won

How the hell did Wandy win the Bisping fight. I thought Mike landed more strikes and was the aggressor and Wandy only had two moments with the guillotine at the end of round two and the knockdown at the end of round three. Can that be enough to win a 15 minute fight?

Daniel M.

(John O’Neill / Special to FIGHT!)

It can when the rest of the fight was as close as it was. I happened to agree with the judges and gave the fight to Wanderlei, 29-28. I thought Bisping took the first round, while Wand took rounds two and three. Both of those rounds were very close, until the closing moments when Silva almost submitted Michael at the end of round two and knocked him down with seconds to go in the fight. If Bisping had been decisively beating Silva early in those rounds, I would agree with you but those particular rounds were razor thin before the closing moments when Silva excelled. However, a closer look at the Compustrike numbers reveals that Wand actually landed 25 more total strikes in a largely standup battle where neither fighter did much damage on the ground except for Silva’s close guillotine attempt.

Your question brings something else to mind, Daniel. After UFC 104 when Lyoto Machida scored a very close, somewhat controversial decision over Mauricio Shogun Rua, Dana White spoke about the need to turn it on at the end of rounds to steal a close round. He even referenced that boxers do it all the time and that MMA fighters would have to get hip to that strategy. Sounds like the Axe Murderer was listening.

Larry Pepe is the host of Pro MMA Radio.

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