Duffee has been trying hard to incite Mir into a fight on social media over the last few weeks. Mir was hoping to land a blockbuster rematch with Brock Lesnar, but Lesnar announced last week he would be re-signing with WWE.
On WWE television, Lesnar speaks to the crowd through advocate Paul Heyman. Duffee tried the same trick Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. The hulking heavyweight came on the show via Skype alongside his “manager” and former fighter Blake Bowman.
“Obviously, Frank wants to fight professional wrestlers that have mouthpieces talking for them,” Bowman said. “So now we have another beast that’s going to decimate Frank Mir.”
Last week on MMA Fight Corner with Heidi Fang, Mir said he didn’t want to fight Duffee, because Duffee was not ranked among UFC heavyweights. The former heavyweight champ changed his tune a bit with Fang on Monday, saying he’d be “open” to it if that’s the fight the UFC wants. And it was reported by Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight on Wednesday that the fight will happen and it’s targeted for summer.
Duffee (9-2) has been coming at Mir on Twitter for more than a week, attempting to get him to accept a fight. Mir is ranked No. 11 among UFC heavyweight contenders and is coming off a knockout win over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in February. It seems like the gears are finally turning to get Duffee the fight he wants.
“I guess we should thank Frank Mir,” Bowman said. “Is that what he wants? That he acknowledged Todd Duffee? He won’t be thanking us if the fight goes down. But we are happy to see it.”
Duffee, 29, made his return from a debilitating bout with Parsonage Turner syndrome by knocking out Anthony Hamilton at UFC 181 in just 33 seconds back in December. The American Top Team product has now won three straight, all by first-round knockout.
Duffee said the reason why he used Bowman to speak for him in the interview is that he’s sick of talking about fighting and just wants to fight.
“He’s annoyed with everything,” Bowman said. “Not just Frank, but that he has to talk to get it. That he has to talk to even get recognized. He has to talk constantly. He’s hyped, he’s hyped and then the hype train just goes away. All the man wants to do is fight. He’s begging, ‘let me do this again, let me do this again, let me do this again.’ And it’s kind of fallen on deaf ears.”
Bowman said Mir was a bully for asking for fights with someone like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who he has already beaten, rather than Duffee.
“Todd is an alpha bully,” Bowman said. “Todd will bully his way all the way to Cain or whoever they have wearing a belt that’s pretending to be No. 1 contender, because Cain is the champ. And everybody else in between. He’ll bully his way through all of them.”
Mir (17-9) likely would have had that huge fight with Lesnar if Lesnar didn’t decide to re-sign with WWE. He lost four straight before knocking out “Bigfoot” last month, but the 35-year-old seems to be primed for another run in the heavyweight division.
Duffee hopes he’ll be next up for the jiu-jitsu specialist. Bowman joked that Duffee will be doing his interviews through him from now on.
“All Todd wants to do is eat, fight and eat some more,” Bowma said. “So somebody has to talk while he’s busy with his massive caloric intake to maintain his Greek god physique.”