Frank Mir bounced back from a career-threatening motorcycle accident. | Photo: D. Mandel/Sherdog.com
Not even in his late 20s, Mir’s career was left for dead. Following a motorcycle accident in 2004, a multiyear absence and a trio of terrible return fights, few thought he had anything left in the tank. The submission marvel that shocked Pete Williams, humbled David Abbott and broke Tim Sylvia’s arm appeared gone. However, that proved just to be a prologue to a remarkable second half of a career. Mir was picked to be the first UFC opponent for Brock Lesnar, and his submission of the World Wrestling Entertainment standout at UFC 81 made him into a much bigger star. His knockout of the previously unstoppable Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira earned him massive respect from fans who thought UFC heavyweights inferior to those in Pride Fighting Championships. Mir then headlined the biggest MMA event of all time, battling Lesnar in a rematch at UFC 100. He would go on to knock out Mirko Filipovic and break Nogueira’s arm, leaving no doubt as to his greatness as a fighter. The once-forgotten champion took a long road back to the top.
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