After a day of conflicting reports, it appears that the May 23 date for Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar to unify the UFC heavyweight championship will indeed be postponed. The latest confirmation comes from Mir himself at the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, Ohio, on the eve of UFC 96.
The two were scheduled to collide at UFC 98 in Las Vegas. Friday afternoon, however, FiveOuncesOfPain.com reported that Mir was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a back injury.
MMAWeekly.com sources later indicated that it was in fact a knee injury that forced Mir to withdraw. He had surgery a week ago to repair damage to his meniscus in the same leg that was injured in a prior motorcycle accident that kept him out of action for more than a year.
Following the UFC 96 weigh-ins at Nationwide Arena, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, " If that were the situation, I’d know about it. I honestly don’t know right now. I haven’t talked to Frank and I haven’t talked to Lesnar and if that’s the situation, I’m not going to make any statements until I talk to everybody."
Later on Friday, however, Mir himself confirmed the knee injury and that he is not planning on facing Lesnar on May 23. Speaking with The Fit Show on Bodybuilding.com, Mir proposed a new possibility for the fight. "Hopefully (we can fight in) the summertime. It was May 23, but I needed to get a scope done to my knee, so I got it done immediately last week. It would be rushing it to try and fight that soon because I can’t really train for four to six weeks as far as sparring and wrestling and the real forms of training. Obviously I can hit the treadmill, but that’s usually not a good idea to be getting in shape for a fight on a treadmill.”
Sources told MMAWeekly.com late in the day on Friday that Mir had been debating whether or not to try and push through the fight with a drastically reduced amount of time for training, but it appears that he has opted out.
The UFC has not had any official comment as of the time of publication. It is unknown what the plans are for the UFC 98 main event at this time.