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Mir ready to rebound against Cormier

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A.J. Perez

A.J. Perez previously worked at USA Today, AOL and CBSSports.com, covering beats ranging from performance-enhancing drugs to the NHL. He has also been a finalist for an Associated Press Sports Editors award for investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter.

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SAN JOSE, Calif.

Frank Mir doesn’t want people to get worked up over him saying he’d like maim Daniel Cormier at UFC on FOX 7 at HP Pavilion on Saturday.

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Mir told FOXSports.com he could have much worse intentions.

“My mentality is that I want to fight to fight,” Mir said. “I am looking for a submission. I didn’t say, ‘I wanted to beat you down for 15 minutes and punch you over and over for 15 minutes. I think that’s a little more disturbing.”

Cormier didn’t find much nuance.

“It’s very disturbing that he thinks that way and it’s disturbing in more than one area,” Cormier told FOXSports.com. “First, you want to fight with respect. Also, the fact that he talks the way he does after he’s been in some of the fights he’s been in, where he’s been absolutely destroyed, is kind of weird. He can just reset things in his mind and move forward. I have never seen anybody like that.”

It’s not the first time Mir has made such statements. The two-time heavyweight champ once said in a 2010 radio interview he wanted to break Brock Lesnar’s neck and see him die in the Octagon.

Unfortunately for Mir (16-6), his comments have been more memorable than some of his recent bouts.

Mir fought for the UFC title again last May after agreeing to meet then-champ Junior dos Santos at UFC 146. (Dos Santos was originally slated to face Alistair Overeem before a positive test for elevated levels of testosterone led to what amounted to a nine-month ban.) Dos Santos won the bout easily, ending it in the second round with a TKO.

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Mir is 3-4 over his past seven bouts, although he had a three-fight win streak going before he met dos Santos.

“I don’t see him being on the downside of his career,” said Cormier, the Strikeforce Grand Prix heavyweight champ who is making his UFC debut. "He fought for the UFC championship last year. I respect Frank as if he was still a champion. I’m preparing for a guy at the top of his game.”

Despite his biting comments, Mir does respect Cormier, a former captain of the US Olympic wrestling team, in one respect.

“He’s the best wrestler I have ever had to face,” Mir said. “That being said, I still think he has a lot to learn and it will take some time before he can put it all together.”

This is Mir’s first fight since UFC 146. A knee injury that required surgery forced Mir to drop out of a Stirkeforce card last November where he was first scheduled to meet Cormier.

“The knee is fine,” Mir said. “It’s fixed. By the time the fight on Nov. 4 rolled around, I was already back in the gym.”

And he said at 33, he’s not putting an expiration date on his career — even if he likes to do the same to his opponents on occasion.

“I’m just taking it fight, by fight,” Mir said. “It’s something I love. When it comes to my wife and my family, I’m not going to risk my health and our future. I’m not risking my happiness.”

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