Two years ago, when you’d hear the name Frank Mir mentioned the first thing that came to mind was a young dominant champion. Nowadays the perception of Mir is much different. Mir’s status as one a top heavyweight’s in the world diminished after a terrible motorcycle accident which occurred two years ago.
Frank Mir made his way into the UFC back in November of 2001 when he faced off against Robert Travern at UFC 34: High Voltage. Mir made easy work of Travern submitting him early in the first. After his debut in the UFC, Mir went on to win three straight fights before falling victim to Ian “The Machine” Freeman.
Mir showcased some excellent submission skills during the fight but he ended up gassing late in the first. Freeman capitalized and eventually the ref ref called the fight as Mir was unable to continue due to exhaustion.
After the loss to Freeman, Mir got himself back on track by defeating Wes Sims twice and Tank Abbott once. Mir and Sims had two fights with one ending controversially as Sims stomped Mir numerous times while he was on the canvas. He ended up being disqualified which paved the way for a rematch. Mir won the fight by KO but it didn’t come easy. Mir gassed in the first and had trouble with Sims but eventually the Hammer House product gassed as well and Mir was able to finish partway through the second stanza.
Things all changed for Mir on June 19th, 2004 at UFC 48: Payback. Frank Mir won the UFC heavyweight title after he submitted Tim Sylvia early in the first shredding Sylvia’s arm to pieces. At first the stoppage seemed questionable but when watching the replay it was clear that the forearm of Sylvia snapped. Controversial or not Mir was crowned the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion.
Unfortunately for Mir things all took a wicked change on September 17th, 2004. While out riding his motorcycle Mir was struck by a car and he was sent flying off of his bike. Reports suggest that Mir flew 60 to 70 after being struck. In the process Mir snapped his femur in two places. After undergoing major surgery, Mir had metal rods place in his femur to provide it with acceptable strength.
During his time on the shelf, Mir was stripped of the heavyweight title and Andrei Arlovski won the interim belt. A little later Arlovski was named the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion as Mir was still unable to return.
Mir’s long awaited return to the octagon came earlier this year when he took on Marcio “Pe-de-Pano” Cruz at UFC 57: Couture vs. Liddell III. In what turned out to be a shocker fans witnessed their former heavyweight champion get TKO’d early in the first. Cruz opened up a large cut on the face of Mir after landing numerous short choppy elbows.
Mir was given the chance to prove himself one more time at UFC 61 where he fought Dan Christison. An out of shape Frank Mir looked terrible as he gassed early and failed to show anything impressive. As the fight drew on Mir did enough to earn the unanimous decision victory.
After the fight Dana White stated that Frank Mir needed to start committing himself to the sport or he’d be gone. Mir recently returned to the octagon at UFC 65: Bad Intentions where he took on the UFC’s rising star, Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Mir came into the fight in very good shape but he was still fairly heavy weighing in at 254 pounds. Unfortunately for Mir, early in the first he ate some big shots and Vera finished him by TKO at 1:05.
With all of that being said this is where the big question pops up. What is next for Frank Mir? Does the UFC drop him? Does he retire?
During the post-fight press conference a reporter posed the question “What is the status for Frank Mir, what is his future?
Dana White responded with “I’ve been down on Frank a lot; he didn’t come in fighting shape last time he fought. I don’t know, I can’t answer that right now. He got beat quick tonight. I think Frank needs to be asked that question.”
Personally I don’t think we’ll ever see the Frank Mir of old again. The motorcycle accident had a huge effect on his career and I doubt he’ll ever return to his original form. He did come into the fight against Vera in very good shape but it was hard to tell if he was back to normal as he was dominated by a superior fighter.
At this point I feel Mir needs to take a step back to assess his situation. Maybe the best track for Mir would be to stick with bouncing and involve himself in some sort of management situation. Either way Mir will always have the reputation of being a fighter who could rip off your limb if he caught it in a submission.
What do you feel is next for Mir?
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