Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir has experienced more ups and downs in his fighting career than most will in a lifetime. Mir entered the UFC at UFC 34 and competed in the promotion five times before earning a title shot. Mir was scheduled to take on the then-feared heavyweight striker Tim Sylvia for the vacant UFC heavyweight title. Mir would win the title, and earn his Brazilian Jiu jitsu black belt, by snapping Sylvia’s arm in half in the first round.
Mir would never get the chance to defend his belt. Shortly after winning the title, a Las Vegan motorist ran a red light and struck Mir while he rode his motorcycle. The accident would leave Mir with a twice-broken femur and completely torn ligaments in one knee.
Showing heart and determination, Mir hit the comeback trail two years later at UFC 57. He took on the underwhelming Marcio Cruz and lost via TKO. Mir looked like a shell of his former self in that fight and many believed that he would never return to form. He did nothing to put those fears to rest in his next two fights; an unimpressive decision victory over Dan Christison and a brutal TKO loss to Brandon Vera.
Most figured Mir to be all but done, including himself. But thanks to spurring from his wife, he discovered a newfound motivation and entered UFC 74 a renewed fighter. He took on Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk and ended that fight in a little over one minute of the first round with a kimura. From there he would go on to submit Brock Lesnar and knockout Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to earn the interim heavyweight title.
This would bring Mir to another crossroads. He faced now champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 100 to unify the two titles and was brutalized for two rounds before being stopped. Having bounced back from worse, Mir used the loss as motivation. He packed on some 25 lbs. of muscle so that he could better compete with the larger men in his division and continued to refine his striking skills. In his first fight back since the Lesnar loss, and in what many thought would be a stiff test for him, Mir took on dangerous French striker Cheick Kongo at UFC 107. The fight was all Mir; he knocked Kongo down early on with crisp and heavy hands and from there he sunk the fight-ending guillotine choke.
Mir has been looking to get the rubber match against Brock Lesnar since their last meeting. He will have a chance to earn that shot when he takes on Shane Carwin for the interim heavyweight title at UFC 111. Known for being blunt and sometimes abrasive, Mir eschewed the trash talk and showed nothing but respect for Carwin and his trainer in this press-release.
“Shane Carwin is an extremely dangerous opponent and being matched up against him is an honor,” Mir said. “It’ll be a great challenge to face him and get to match wits against his coaches. Greg Jackson is like the ‘Yoda’ of mixed martial arts and I will need a strong gameplan heading into this fight.”
Mir Vs. Carwin will be the co-main event on “UFC 111: St. Pierre Vs. Hardy”. The event will take place March 27th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.