Frank Mir’s under a two-year sanction from USADA following an out of competition drug test, and the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and 15-year UFC vet is now asking for his release from the organization.
Mir explained his request in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Tuesday, saying there are other things he can explore outside of the organization that are unavailable to him while still under contract.
“As of now I’m under suspension, as of April 2018 I’ll be eligible to fight again the UFC, and even more, as troubling as that is, they have it to where I can’t do any broadcasting,” Mir said. “Not that I was ever going to get it in there, just because I’ve been asking for several years since the WEC since put this in the rotation, right now I’d like to be released by the UFC so I can continue my career in other avenues.”
Mir believes he didn’t intentionally take the substance for which he tested positive, but because he claims he also didn’t know exactly what caused the failed test, he didn’t think he’d have success in fighting it, so he didn’t.
“I didn’t see any advantage or course of action that would have been conclusive or really had any percentages on my side where I could win,” Mir said. “It’s starting to look very expensive to fight, and if at the end of it I’m still suspended and I’m not allowed to fight or broadcast, I have to start to think about my savings as I’m trying to raise children, I made a decision to forego trying to battle it anymore.
“After I realized three weeks ago the situation in its entirety, and looked at my savings account and what my kids cost to raise, I realized I have to go make a living. Being tied up not able to fight and not able to do any analytical works. .. I know they’re very busy, there’s a lot on their plate, so I’m trying as patiently as a person can be [to] find time to get in front of them and discuss the issue.”
Penick’s Analysis: Mir could probably find work as an analyst elsewhere without the UFC holding contractual rights over him, because that subjects him to the terms of his USADA suspension in full. If he winds up getting his release, he still wouldn’t be able to fight under any other jurisdiction, though he could skirt that in Japan or some other spot without a sanctioning body. Still, it’s clear he’s looking to find some way to make money with his name and history in the sport while being unable to actually compete.
[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]
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