Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titlist Frank Mir has signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA.
Mir announced the deal on the “Phone Booth Fighting” podcast on Tuesday, and Sherdog.com subsequently confirmed the signing with a source close to the situation. While Mir will join the Bellator MMA roster, the terms of his deal allow him to compete for other organizations with the California-based promotion’s permission.
“Out of all the organizations that came forward, it came down to two that were going to allow me to have my desire of not being locked into one organizations. I did that with the UFC for almost 16 years…It was coming down to Bellator and [Absolute Championship Berkut] who were both seeming to be very understanding of that fact, unless I was their champion,” Mir said on the podcast.
“It came down to the financial aspect, obviously, who pays the most, and Bellator, with Viacom supporting them obviously, I’m getting paid more than I made with the UFC,” he continued. “I’m extremely excited to be part of the Bellator roster with Scott Coker. They have some very legitimate heavyweights over there. First and foremost on my mind is to fight Fedor [Emelianenko]. Hopefully that will work out. But it doesn’t close the door now that I could still go and fight now with ACB, who I have a contract with for commentary work.”
Mir last competed at UFC Fight Night 85 on March 19, 2016, when he suffered a first-round knockout loss to Mark Hunt. He later received a two-year suspension from USADA for testing positive for dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT), a sanction that is retroactive to April 8, 2016.
All but two of Mir’s 29 career bouts have taken place in the Octagon. He owns an 18-11 career mark that includes notable wins over the likes of Antonio Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Roy Nelson, Mirko Filipovic, Brock Lesnar and Tim Sylvia. The 38-year-old Las Vegas resident has lost six of his last eight bouts, although each of those defeats came against top competition.