Mir hasn’t always been a gatekeeper. In fact, he’s a former champion and recent title-contender. However, to think Mir’s best days are ahead of him is folly. He’s on a three-fight skid and has a fight with Alistair Overeem in front of him. At this point, Mir’s marketability is the best thing he has going, so inserting him into marquee match-ups or as a test for guys like Daniel Cormier is really the only way to go in terms of his fighting future.
When UFC President Dana White was asked to explain his reason for recently cutting longtime Top 10 middleweight Yushin Okami the outspoken executive essentially explained the decision came down to the Japanese veteran’s status as a “gatekeeper”. In the context of MMA, a gatekeeper is a fighter who is a tough and talented competitor but can’t seem to get over the hump and establish full-fledged dominance in a division. As such, he/she is seen as a person peers need to beat before being considered true contenders. While Okami is gone, the UFC still has a number of fighters who fit the bill. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)