Submitting Brock Lesnar, Breaking Tim Sylvia’s Arm, and More: Here Are 5 Best Moments From Frank Mir’s MMA Career

Published 04/14/2021, 7:43 AM EDT

Frank Mir is a former two-time UFC champion who holds the record for most finishes and submission victories in UFC heavyweight history with 13. Mir last competed at Bellator 231 where he faced Roy Nelson and won the fight via unanimous decision.


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The fighter made his professional MMA debut back in 2001, where he faced Jerome Smith in his first match and won. He first competed in the UFC on November 2, 2001, where he defeated Roberto Traven at UFC 34. The former UFC heavyweight champion was a part of the UFC for 15 years straight, making him the longest-tenured fighter in UFC history.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 28: (R-L) Frank Mir knees Roy Nelson during their heavyweight fight at UFC 130 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 28, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Apart from being an incredibly talented MMA fighter, Mir is also a great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Pires.


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The fighter has had a spectacular MMA career, and here we look at 5 of Frank Mir’s most incredible MMA moments

His victory against Antoni Hardonk

Few things say ‘I am back’ like the way Mir said on August 25, 2007. To really understand the importance of this victory in Mir’s MMA career, one must look at what happened a couple of years before that. Mir won the UFC heavyweight championship back in 2004. He defeated Tim Sylvia to claim the belt, but fate had something else in store for the champion.

On September 17, 2004. Mir was in a gruesome accident. A car had knocked off his motorcycle and had seriously injured him. Mir tore all his ligaments in his knee and had two breaks in his femur. He had to vacate his title and spend quite some time in recovery.

Mir returned to the Octagon in 2006 and lost the fight to Marcio Cruz. He had two more fights before competing with Hardonk; he lost one and barely won the other. Therefore, this fight was really important for the fighter.

In his fight against Hardonk, we saw the talent of Frank Mir back in action as he claimed a submission win. However, the most important scene happened after the fight as Mir walked towards the camera and pointed at his chest, and said, ‘I’m back.’

Frank Mir showing the world his submission capabilities

MMA fans often consider Mir as one of the best submission masters in UFC history. Mir has repeatedly shown how good he is at making his opponents submit. This was most clear in his fight against Pete Williams at UFC 36. Mir started the fight dominantly and within the first few seconds, it was clear where the fight was headed.

Mir quickly had Williams where he wanted him and made him submit in 46 seconds. He used the inside shoulder lock to take the win. The impact of this win was so great that since then the lock has also been called ‘The Mir lock’.

Becoming the UFC world Heavyweight Champion

Nothing is as important as to claim the top prize of the sport one competes in. Every fighter who has ever competed in any sort of tournament or platform wants to win the ultimate prize.

Frank also wanted that, and he achieved the feat on June 19, 2004, when he defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 48. After seeing his first few fights in the UFC, everyone knew that eventually, Mir would compete for the title and probably win it.

The opportunity arrived against Sylvia, and Mir grabbed it with both hands. The fighter showed everyone why he deserved to be the champion of the world when he defeated Sylvia in just 50 seconds. This was the fight that made Mir the champion, and winning this first championship was a significant moment in the decorated career of the fighter.

Brock Lesnar’s battles against Frank Mir

Brock Lesnar was one of the hottest commodities in combat sports before he joined the UFC. The former WWE champion joined the UFC in 2008, and Frank Mir was to be his first opponent.

Throughout the buildup to the match, no one gave Mir any chance of winning against Lesnar, who went in as the favorite.

Brock started the fight aggressively and began pounding on his opponent. However, Mir kept his cool and jumped on the first opening he saw to make Lesnar tap within just 90 seconds of the very first round. This victory set up a riveting rematch between the two fighters.

Mir’s victory against ‘Big Nog’


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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is an MMA legend. The veteran fighter is arguably one of the greatest MMA personalities ever, and that is why Mir’s victory against him is so special.

Mir first faced Nogueira at UFC 92, where he won the fight via TKO. In the process became the first man to knock out ‘Big Nog’ and also won the interim UFC heavyweight title. The pair fought again at UFC 140, where Mir won again, this time via submission. This made him the first man to knock out as well as submit ‘Big Nog.’


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Frank Mir has not competed since 2019, and there has been no news of the former champion returning to the cage. However, Mir will venture into the boxing ring on April 17 and fans will be keen to see him thwart Steve Cunningham.


Paras Pande

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Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.