Submission of the Year: Mir on Nogueira

Frank Mir submits Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Photo by Esther Lin/

While last month's rematch between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was going to be a memorable one no matter what, it's hard to say that anyone imagined the outcome that occurred.

The first meeting between the two submission specialists took place in December 2008, right after both finished up stints as opposing coaches on a season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show. The fight never hit the ground, and Mir used surprisingly superior striking to become the first fighter to ever stop Nogueira.

Since their original clash, Mir had continued to remain among the top heavyweights in the world, while Nogueira battled injuries and brutal losses alike. Many pundits thought that Mir would use his power to stop Nogueira again, in a similar fashion as UFC 92. Mir stopped Nogueira, but not with strikes, and made history in the process.

Their UFC 140 meeting started out like the last. Mir used much improved footwork to stifle Nogueira and land strikes. During a clinch, Nogueira caught Mir with some punches and elbows and wobbled the former champ. Mir stumbled to the canvas and Nogueira followed him. What transpired next is among the craziest finishes in UFC history.

Noguieira immediately started wailing away on Mir. Herb Dean warned "Minotauro" of strikes to the back of the head, causing Nogueira to abruptly stop and transition to an anaconda choke. The hold looks deep but Mir finds his way out of it and gets on top of Nogueira. The two scramble and roll and Nogueira takes Mir's back but not before Nogueira is forced back around due to a tight kimura.

The two roll around again and Nogueira is unable to escape. Mir wrenches the hold and Nogueira's arm and shoulder blade snap in half. It's the second time that Dean has witnessed a bone break in a high-profile heavyweight fight. It's also the first and likely only time that anyone has even come close to, let alone submit Nogueira.


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