In 2004, Frank Mir was on top of the world. He’d rocketed up the UFC’s ranks, and when faced with a title shot, he didn’t submit the reigning champ as much as break his forearm. But Mir’s run as heavyweight king was cut short by a motorcycle accident that left him with a badly broken femur, and the road to recovery was a long and arduous one. CagedInsider caught up with Mir at the media day at Madison Square Garden ahead of his UFC 169 bout against Alistair Overeem, and since comparisons can be made between Mir’s trials and tribulations with his leg and what former middleweight champ Anderson Silva is facing, I asked if he had any advice for the recovering Brazilian.

“I think the one thing is you have to take everything seriously,” he said. “I think sometimes as fighters, myself included… because you become successful doing things that other people don’t think can be done, you start bringing that inertia into other aspects of our life. It’s like, ‘Well, you can’t fight here, and I jumped in here and did this, so I’m able to push it harder than the average human being.’

“And you’re right, there’s a mental aspect that allows certain guys to push it farther, but no matter how hard and strong your mind is, you’re still made of flesh and bone. So, when it comes to rehab and recovery, you hear people say ‘Oh, I just had knee surgery, I’ll come back in two months, I’ll do it.’ You might mentally push it and you could probably get out there, but your body is still going to break down, and that’s when you get guys that re-injure themselves. I think that’s one thing probably that haunted Dominick Cruz. I think that after his surgeries he definitely got back too soon to the gym and always re-hurt himself, and that’s why he’s stuck in the situation he’s in now.

“So I would tell Anderson Silva, ‘You’re mortal. Treat yourself like you’re mortal, and it will come out better in the end.'”

Four years after his motorcycle accident, Mir was once again wearing UFC gold. Given his experiences, his words to Silva could very well be pearls of wisdom.