Don’t expect Mir to be heading into the bout with a sense of complacency.
The 38-year-old recently spoke to RT on the prospect of facing the Russian and claimed that he was still ‘extremely dangerous’:
“I think [Fedor Emelianenko]’s still extremely dangerous. He did everything he does normally. You see how fast he threw the right hand on [Matt] Mitrione. The difference is everyone else just have gotten a lot better. If Matt Mitrione would fight 10 years ago in Pride, he would have been one of the best fighters in Pride, if we grab Mitrione we are seeing now and put him back there. Back then guys were either good boxers, wrestlers, Jiu-Jitsu guys. You didn’t have a lot of guys who were good at everything. Which Fedor is. He’s good at everything. And now he has to deal with the fact that everybody now is good at everything.”
Mir believes that the sport of MMA has developed significantly, which means fighters are more well-rounded these days:
“There are very few guys that fight at the top level of MMA, that you can say that ‘oh he has zero stand-up’ or ‘oh he has zero ground,’ or ‘he can’t wrestle.’ We don’t really use those terms anymore. Everybody has different athleticism, different mindsets, backgrounds, different personalities. Just like in boxing – not everybody fights the same, even though everybody boxes. [Guillermo] Rigondeaux and [Vasiliy] Lomachenko fight differently, but they’re still boxers.
“So within MMA, we’re all MMA artists now. And you don’t really have people with blurring holes. So to underestimate Fedor would be a crazy mistake. Watching him on the countdown [videos] to that [Mitrione] fight, hitting the bag, working out. What I’ve seen him still doing, I still think he’s a great fighter. I just think that the rest of the world has caught up, so he is not light years ahead of everybody, like he was 10 years ago.”