According to Frank Mir’s recollection of last night’s events, his UFC 164 matchup with Josh Barnett was stopped early. Unfortunately, the events between arriving at the venue last night and waking up this morning are likely somewhat of a blur, making his opinion on the matter somewhat invalid. At the post-fight press conference, Mir explained that he got screwed:
Obviously, I thought it was a bad stoppage. We’re fighters. If every fight was stopped on any kind of a flash shot or anything like that — actually, I took the knee, and I remember going, ‘s— I’m in a bad position.’ And that’s why I dropped my other knee out from underneath me so that could fall to the ground and make sure I didn’t take a second one. I didn’t belly out, I didn’t flatten out, and I actually tried to redig my underhook so that i could get a single. And I actually looked at the referee stopping it.
And then at first I thought, maybe I was out? Did I take a bunch of shots that I didn’t see? And then after watching it, I was conscious the whole time. Even when I stood up I wasn’t wobbled, I was completely coherent. So at best your argument is it was a flash knock down. I didn’t know fights stopped on that. If that was the case I never would have beaten [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira, I don’t think we would have seen Travis Browne knock out [Alistair] Overeem last week. There are too many fights in our sport that are exciting, and you’ve got to let us fight. I didn’t sign up for a tennis match.
Evidently, Mir missed the part where his arms, forearms, and indeed, his entire body were splayed on the canvas but his head was gyrating as incoherently as a bobblehead on Bob Sapp’s gut during one of his nocturnal gaseous emissions. The fact of the matter is that Referee Rob Hinds had no idea that Mir was about to stand back up after leaving the area around his “Liddell Landing Strip” completely exposed and blowing in the wind of Barnett’s strikes.
The idea that certain fighters deserve to be allowed to absorb additional damage by referees is kinda le shit. Once fighters reach UFC level, all deserve the same level of protection. It would certainly invite liability if a prominent fighter were seriously injured after a referee promised additional leeway to higher-caliber athletes. I understand the sentiment behind wanting to be allowed to continue, but Mir knows by this point in his career that flopping onto the mat like that gets fights stopped. Asking to be the beneficiary of generous referee calls in every fight would be like priests asking the Catholic church to shuttle them around to different jobs when they… oh wait.