UFC Signs Bella Mir to Its First NIL College Athlete Contract

At just 20 years of age, Ultimate Fighting Championship hopeful Bella Mir is already making serious waves.

Per a press release from the UFC on Friday, the organization has signed Mir (3-0) to be an “NIL ambassador,” which will pay her for her name, image and likeness rights. The NCAA ban on NIL deals with athletes was recently lifted, and Mir is the first to come from the UFC. This follows a major sponsorship arrangement from the UFC to the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling program, in which Mir is a member of the women’s wrestling team.

UFC head Dana White spoke highly of Mir and of this new agreement, saying, “Bella was destined to become a member of the UFC family her entire life, and I’m proud that she’s making history as our first NIL ambassador in one of the best programs at the University of Iowa. She’s a four-time state high school wrestling champion who has won jiu-jitsu tournaments and three professional MMA fights before turning 19. Bella is an incredible role model for young women who are not only looking to get into sports, but also pursue their dreams. She’s on another level, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Mir joined up with the Iowa Hawkeyes as a freshman after dominating her high school wrestling circuit, claiming four straight titles in Nevada. Competing at 144 pounds, she earned a national ranking, and also won out in the 2021 USA Wrestling Junior Folkstyle National Championships in her division. Additionally, she has taken home medals at multiple national jiu-jitsu tournaments.

At the age of 17, Mir turned pro in MMA, and she rattled off three wins – including two first-round finishes – in the span of about 20 months. However, none of her opponents at the time had won a pro bout when she faced them. This agreement with the UFC does not guarantee a roster spot for the daughter of UFC champ Frank Mir, although based on White’s statement, it may be in her future.

“I’m super grateful and I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to Dana and UFC for giving me this opportunity,” she said about the signing. “I’m going to make sure I do my best to represent UFC and show the world what I’m all about.”

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