LAS VEGAS -- A new face will appear in Frank Mir’s corner when he takes on Daniel Cormier at a UFC on Fox event in April -- Greg Jackson.
Mir, 33, plans to join Jackson in Albuquerque, N.M., for an eight-week camp beginning later this month. It’s the first time the Las Vegas native will train for a fight outside his hometown.
Following a second-round TKO loss to Junior dos Santos for the UFC title in May, Mir says he felt a need to modify his standard routine.
“I’ve always felt I have great trainers so there was no reason to leave, but my wife and I were talking about how I needed to change things up,” Mir told ESPN.com. “One of the things was maybe I should get out of town and get more focused.
“I’ve always been impressed with Greg Jackson’s game planning. I figured, before I retire, I want to be a part of that and see what makes this guy so successful.”
During the eight weeks, Mir (16-6) plans to fly home every weekend to see his family. He says the longest he’s ever gone without seeing his three children is four days. An eight-week absence was out of the question.
Five days out of the week, though, his career will receive his full attention. That hasn’t been the case, really, since he started a family. Recently, the two-time UFC heavyweight champion skipped a workout to sign his daughter up for softball. That kind of thing won’t happen in Albuquerque.
“I ended up working out in the garage with dumbbells,” Mir said. “I still got something in, but was it the same quality as if I went to the gym? No.”
Mir’s longtime head trainer Jimmy Gifford will join Jackson in the corner. Gifford says he is excited to see Mir willing to make changes this late in his career.
“Too many coaches want to make it about them. It’s about the fighter,” Gifford said. “Anything that makes my guy better, I’m fine with. This guy has been at the top of his game for years. For him to still search out ways to get better is great.”
Having Cormier as an opponent has appeared to motivate Mir. A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier (11-0) carries lots of momentum into his UFC debut.
After scoring a second-round TKO victory in his final Strikeforce appearance, Cormier publicly called for an April bout against Mir. Gifford texted his fighter that night to see if he was watching, and Mir responded, “I’ll sign his cast after the fight.”
“Level of competition is important,” Mir said. “He’s done most of his damage in Strikeforce. Not to downplay Strikeforce, but it’s not the UFC.
“I think it’s going to be another one of those things where people are destined to be disappointed. After our fight, he’s already said he’s going to 205 pounds. That doesn’t sound like a confident guy who wants to stay at heavyweight.”