Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir has apologized for saying he wants to break current title-holder Brock Lesnar's neck and make him "the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries."
The 30-year-old mixed martial arts fighter from Las Vegas made the comments in an interview last week with Pittsburgh radio station WXDX.
Unlike some fighters, Mir said he shares what is on his mind, instead of being politically correct when it comes to his opponent.
"I want to fight Lesnar. I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries. That's what's going through my mind," he said in the interview.
Mir was singing a different tune Tuesday in a statement issued by the UFC.
"I would like to apologize to Brock Lesnar, his family, the UFC and the UFC fans for my stupid remarks," he said. "I respect Brock, all the other fighters, and the sport of mixed martial arts. I'm sorry that I stepped out of line."
UFC president Dana White also weighed in.
"I was disappointed by Frank Mir's comments," White said in the same statement. "Frank's been with the UFC a long time, he's a two-time heavyweight champion and a commentator for the WEC. I think his emotions are running high right now, he has a big fight coming up next month and he's still upset about his loss to Lesnar.
"He's been talked to, he regrets what he said, and he won't be saying anything like that again."
Mir is slated to fight Shane Carwin next month at UFC 111 with the winner taking on Lesnar.
Mir told The Canadian Press he went too far in trying to promote a future rubber match with Lesnar.
"I got a little carried away with trying to make it more enticing and try to add a little bit to it," he said.
He also compared his words to a football player, in the huddle before a game talking about smashing or crushing the opposing quarterback.
"Those aren't really literal terms they're using, it's a motivational speech, it's a rah-rah-rah-type thing," Mir explained. "Candidly speaking, maybe I should saved that more for the locker-room instead of an interview."
Still, Mir had not plans to contact Lesnar directly to apologize.
"Lesnar and I have had issues with each other in the past. They've never called to apologize to me, so I didn't think that really we have that kind of relationship. I think the public statement goes above and beyond anything that I really need to do for him."
Mir also said he was sure that Lesnar, a former pro wrestler, understands the need to promote a fight.
Mir has made no secret of his dislike for Lesnar, who defeated and then taunted him last July at UFC 100. Mir submitted Lesnar the first time they met at UFC 81 in Lesnar's UFC debut.
Mir, who has called his quest to beat Lesnar an obsession, has no love for the champion.
"I know from his point of view he doesn't like me and I can guarantee you, if you talk to anybody in my family, it's a legitimate hate," he said in the Pittsburgh interview.
Referring to Lesnar, Mir said being "big, obnoxious and angry" is not the way to be.
Mir added that he did not realize what he had said until later.
The champion has not fought since beating Mir because of a digestive disease but is on the comeback trail.