After making his Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) commentary debut this weekend, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Frank Mir made his future career ambitions very clear, and they don't involve the UFC.
Mir trying to get out of his UFC contract
Speaking after ACB 48 this past weekend, Mir spoke to Russian website Cageside.ru and didn't hold back when it came to talking about his current status and whether he is still with the UFC.
"I am, but I am trying to get out of it," Mir said. "They are not going to utilize me as a fighter, and I am not getting any younger. Even if they do not let me go after my suspension, when I'm up and able to fight again, I really would like to step outside.
"UFC is not going to be able to get into Russia. Here you already have phenomenal leagues. Obviously, UFC is a very big thing in the U.S., Canada, Brazil. But I like coming over here, I like the culture, the people.
"Fighting here and in Japan are two dreams of mine to be able to accomplish. Fighting in different types of fights [is something I'm interested in]. As of right now, UFC only allows me to fight MMA. I am going to have to retire. Eventually, time is going to catch up to all of us, and I am no different."
Boxing and K1 of interest
Mir then expanded further on his comments for wanting to try other combat sports and revealed two other disciplines he'd like to fight in before retiring.
"I have never got to do a kickboxing match," Mir said. "I have only fought an amateur boxing match. I want to do a professional boxing match. You know, I always wanted to test myself and find out different things.
"UFC wants to protect me like any other fighter under the contract. Conor McGregor would have one hell of a boxing match with (Floyd) Mayweather, and they are not going to allow that. So, they will never allow me either.
"They [UFC] have already made a lot of money, they are very famous, very important and I am very grateful for what they helped me accomplish. But right now, I am being limited in what I'm able to do before I enter full-time coaching. I want more experience in different aspects of the sport. My goal is to do at least five K-1 rule kickboxing matches, five professional boxing matches before I retire."
Combat sambo as well, but it will never happen
The Russian reporter then asked if combat sambo would be of interest. Mir confirmed it would, but he reiterated the limitations he has still being under contract with UFC and how he believes it limits fighters' potential.
"I like watching it, and I would be interested in entering a tournament," Mir said. "However, the UFC limits it, because they do not want me to go out and take adventures. I think that they are afraid of their guys going up and maybe losing, but we are warriors, we are fighters, we are going to lose, we are going to win.
"If you do not go out there and push yourself, it makes us weak, and I think now that's almost the culture we've created where you see some of the other organizations starting to catch up and exceed us in skills and ability because their fighters fight other places and are very active and our fighters are not. Once you get to a certain level, all of a sudden, you fight once a year and how good can you possibly get if you're only fighting once a year?"
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