UFC 100 Preview: Bloody Elbow Judo Chop: Frank Mir Debuts the Mir Lock Against Pete Williams at UFC 36

A look back at Frank Mir's history in the UFC.

By: Nate Wilcox | 14 years ago
UFC 100 Preview: Bloody Elbow Judo Chop: Frank Mir Debuts the Mir Lock Against Pete Williams at UFC 36
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

I thought it would be festive to build up to UFC 100’s heavyweight title fight by reviewing some of the big submissions from Frank Mir‘s career.

First up, his UFC 36 submission win over Pete Williams using a shoulder crank that is now commonly referred to as the “Mir Lock.”

First some background on Mir, via 411 Mania:

“Frank Mir was born on May 24, 1979 (making him 30 years old today) in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born into a martial arts family, as his parents ran a Kenpo Karate school, so naturally Frank became versed in martial arts. After watching UFC 1, he was amazed how the bigger, stronger guys were getting taken down and submitted by Royce Gracie. His father pushed Frank to learn wrestling as he thought that this would help Frank be able to defend submissions. When Frank first got into wrestling he lost his first 7 matches before going on to eventually win the Nevada State wrestling championship in 1998.

“As a teenager Frank received his black belt in Kenpo and after high school he began to take a liking to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Instead of going to college Frank decided to focus on martial arts training instead. Frank Mir met up with Joe Silva (UFC matchmaker) while Silva was visiting a school that Frank was instructing. The two began to talk, and Silva suggested that the UFC would be interested in having Frank fight for their organization if he could first prove himself on some smaller shows.

“This prompted Frank to take on Jerome Smith at HOOKnSHOOT-showdown on July 14 2001, in his first professional MMA fight. The fight went to a two round decision and Frank was declared the winner. One month later on another independent card Frank fought Dan Quinn, but this time he ended the fight with a triangle choke in the first round. Directly after this fight the UFC made Frank an offer.”

In his UFC debut, Mir shocked everyone by submitting BJJ blackbelt Roberto Traven with an armbar. Traven was a Mundial and ADCC champion so that got people’s attention. But it was at his second UFC fight that Frank Mir landed the first of the submissions that would make his reputation.

A simple jiu jitsu shoulder crank that really shouldn’t get a tap out at the UFC level, the move looked spectacular when Frank Mir used it to beat the well-known Lion’s Den fighter Pete Williams in 0:46 of the first round. Williams biggest win was a kick to the face KTFO finish of Mark Coleman at UFC 17 but he had faced Ricco Rodriguez, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and Kevin Randleman and never been submitted.

We’ll talk about the move and look at an animated gif in the full entry.

UFC 100 coverage

In the gif at the right, Frank Mir’s got guard position, on his back with his legs wrapped around Williams’ hips. He establishes an overhook on Williams’ right arm with his left. He gets it deep enough to force Williams’ arm to bend. Then he clasps his hands in a gable grip and cranks. Tap out.

Here’s Frank Mir describing the move in the post fight interview:

“I pulled guard. I went for a triangle. He didn’t give it to me, but he let me sink the arm deep. He didn’t react like he knew it was dangerous so I knew I had him. He didn’t know what was going to happen so I went over for the shoulder crank.

“Its just a jiu jitsu move. I caught the arm and started to sink it. I was actually doing it to get him to get him to panick for a triangle. But when I saw his hand come up I realized he was in trouble and I just gave it everything.”

This was the end of Williams’ MMA career. He was only 27, but there just wasn’t the money in the sport to keep him around. Not an all time great, he was still a key member of one of the early teams that dominated MMA and his highlight reel win over Mark Coleman will remain a staple of highlight reels.

For Frank Mir this was just the beginning of a roller coaster career.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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