5 Defining Moments: Frank Mir

By Mark Raymundo Oct 25, 2019
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Former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Frank Mir has made a career out of rematches, and the fight with Roy Nelson will be the fourth in his career. The owner of nine submission victories, Mir aims to repeat on “Big Country” as they lock horns inside the Mohegan Sun Arena on Oct. 25 for Bellator 231. Here is another set of career-defining moments for Mir.

Submission sighting

In his Octagon debut at UFC 34, Mir faced grappling ace Roberto Traven. At the time, Traven was already a 6th degree jiu-jitsu black belt and the 1999 ADCC submission wrestling world open class champion. None of that fazed Mir, who needed only 1:05 to tap out Traven with an armbar. This happened on Nov. 2, 2001, and Mir did not receive his black belt until 2004, when he defeated Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight championship with another armbar submission.

Leaving no doubt

Before his more celebrated rivalries with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brock Lesnar, Mir had quite a heated rivalry with Wes Sims. The 6-foot-10 Sims was disqualified in their controversial first fight at UFC 43, in which Sims stomped Mir while Mir had his head up against the fence. The fight was stopped immediately and Mir won via disqualification. Half a year later at UFC 46, the two heavyweights met again, and this time, Mir made his presence felt. He knocked out his opponent with some lethal knees and punches less than a minute before time expired in Round 2.

Comeback of comebacks

After returning from a life-threatening motorcycle accident, Mir lost two of his first three return fights. At that point, he didn’t look poised for a major comeback. But then he did the unthinkable and put toer the likes of top-level adversaries Antoni Hardonk, Brock Lesnar and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The last of those wins earned him the interim UFC heavyweight title.

Superstar rivalry

Mir beat Lesnar with a kneebar at UFC 81. But not without getting mauled by the hulking pro wrestling superstar for the first minute of their fight. Then, at the blockbuster UFC 100, the two rematched with the undisputed title on the line. Unfortunately for Mir, he experienced more of the heat Lesnar brought to him in their first outing, losing via TKO in the second round.

Back-to-back bonuses

From 2012 to 2014, Mir suffered four straight defeats to Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier, Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem. And just as he seemed spent and ready to bow out of the game, he mounted two consecutive wins that earned him Performance of the Night bonuses. He knocked out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 61, dropping him with a looping left hook and following it up with punches. Then, at UFC Fight Night 71, he starched Todd Duffee with another nasty left hand. Both fights ended in less than two minutes.

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