http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Oct-31-Tue-2006/sports/10534016.html ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP: Mir finally gets serious [FONT=verdana,arial]Fighter tries to take 'heavy' out of heavyweight [/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial]By KEVIN IOLE REVIEW-JOURNAL [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial] Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Frank Mir, right, said he is combining better nutrition with his gym training during preparation for a Nov. 18 bout against Brandon Vera in Sacramento, Calif. Photo by K.M. Cannon. [/FONT]A lot of mixed martial artists resemble NASCAR drivers because they have advertisements plastered all over them. But Frank Mir gets the idea he missed out on some money by not landing a promotional deal with Del Taco. "For a long time I existed on their Macho Beef Burrito," Mir says, laughing. But that opportunity is lost for the Bonanza High product because he says he has given up the fast food and junk food lifestyle. Mir, who meets unbeaten Brandon Vera on Nov. 18 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., in a key Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight match, said he has finally realized he can't fight a world-class schedule subsisting on burgers, fries and shakes. He said he discovered that after he worked harder than he ever has to prepare for a July 8 fight against Dan Christison at Mandalay Bay and yet still weighed more than 260 not-so-rock-hard pounds. Though Mir won an ugly fight, he knew he had plenty of work to do. "My training portion, I nailed it," Mir said. "All my trainers and everyone at the gym, they were all happy with what I did. But I'm notorious for eating horribly and it caught up to me. At least it wasn't too late." But it was close. UFC president Dana White was seething when he took one look at Mir's pudgy frame. Mir was one of the most prominent fighters in the sport when he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident on Sept. 17, 2004. The injury sidelined him for more than two years, but White said he is tired of hearing about that, too. He said it's time for Mir to stop making excuses and perform. "Frank Mir has been an athlete his whole life and he's been fighting in the UFC for how many years?" White said. "That's a B.S. excuse. He showed up out of shape (against Christison) and he fought like it. Frank is the typical guy who is oozing with talent, but he just relies on his natural ability. "He's one of the most talented big men I've seen, but I can't tell if he's just lazy or if he takes it for granted. He's a big, big guy, but he's fantastic on the ground. When he's on the ground, he moves like a 160-pounder. But he's got to have his head in the game." Mir, 27, is prepared to accept White's challenge. A former heavyweight champion, he said he doesn't want to look back on his career and be disappointed. He desperately wants to prove he's not only a contender, but the best big man in mixed martial arts. He wants to get back to being the fighter who won the belt in 2004 by snapping Tim Sylvia's arm in less than a minute. Mir won that fight to win the vacant title, fulfilling a dream. But he never made one defense, having to surrender the title after the accident. Sylvia has since regained the belt and will defend it against Jeff Monson on the same card when Mir fights Vera. The UFC gave him a difficult match in Vera, whom White raves about as an all-around fighter. Mir, though, is eager for the challenge. "For a long time, I did this (fighting) for me, but it's my job and I have a wife and kids who depend on me to do my job well," said Mir, who brings his family with him when he trains. "No fighter is more conditioned than I am now. "There's a lot at stake for me and I'm pushing to get every last bit out of what I have. I had the (fighting skills) and I've got the training and now I've got the nutrition part done. I feel like everything is tuned and lining up right. I'm ready for a big fight."