Frank Mir is slowly but surely making the transition from MMA fighter to professional wrestler. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has been working with Austin Aries to prepare for a potential future in the sport.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Mir discussed his training sessions with Aries and his thirst for wanting to learn everything, even though that's not exactly possible.
"I told him, 'I have an interest in trying it out.' I went to the gym with him at Future Stars of Wrestling in Vegas and the first practice, I interrupted him halfway through. I was like, 'I have to apologize. I never had a clue how much the risk is.' I realized I was saying something to him, leading up to it, that was insulting. I didn't realize I was insulting. Austin, contrary to belief, is not a constant asshole. He let me off the hook and was like, 'You're only going to need to learn certain spots and these aspects of my craft.' My answer was, 'No, I want to learn it all.' Being genuine. I didn't want to take shortcuts because I had already established a name. Then I realized, I'll never learn everything he's learned in 20 years. Austin realized I was being humble, not a dick."
When asked how he feels in the ring Mir replied, "Still a lot of thinking. Taking bumps is one of the easier aspects because it's humbling. 'This part is cool.' If I had a report card, taking bumps is the easy transition. It's the selling that's the hard part. And knowing how to feel another guy. I'm not used to [guys] cooperating with me. In turn, I'm not used to giving up parts of my body. If someone reaches for my arm, my intention is not to give you my arm."
Mir elaborated on selling being difficult by noting that in MMA, you don't want your opponent to know you're hurt so you disguise any pain or discomfort you might be feeling. But in wrestling, conveying that moves hurt is part of the emotion of a match.
Mir has worked at Bloodsport and Future Stars of Wrestling, two stops that focus more on the hybrid style with MMA mixed in.
"Those opportunities came for me, working at Bloodsport and Future Stars of Wrestling. Those are easy transitions because [it's grappling]," said Mir. "I roll with guys all the time. If I feel what you're doing, I can go with the throws and maneuvers. I know how to be a good partner and work. That wasn't hard. There's no ropes and having to sell. I didn't want to fool anybody and be like, I'm ready to jump into a full blown match. If I can start being in that genre and take baby steps, why not?"
Josh Barnett's Bloodsport is set to return over WrestleMania 36 weekend. It is unknown if Mir will be booked for the event.
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