Frank Mir was front and center during one of the UFC’s wildest experiments. When the UFC signed WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, Mir was tapped as the man to welcome him to the Octagon.
They fought at UFC 81 in 2008. And it was Mir who got his hand raised. After being roughed up by Lesnar for a minute, Mir caught the wrestler in a kneebar. Lesnar tapped and laughed, branding Mir ‘lucky’ for the fight-winning submission hold.
Lesnar got his first UFC win a few months later; pummelling (and riding) Heath Herring to a unanimous decision. He then TKO’d Randy Couture to win the UFC heavyweight title.
His first title defence was against Mir. There would be no crafty submission win this time around, though. Lesnar ground and pounded his way to a second round TKO win. Lesnar then defended against Shane Carwin before losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem prompted him to step away from the cage.
Lesnar would return in 2016 to face Mark Hunt. That fight ended in a unanimous decision win for Lesnar on the night, but it was overturned to a no contest due to Lesnar testing positive for clomiphene.
Mir recently reminisced on his bouts with Lesnar while appearing on Insight with Chris Van Vliet. On that show Mir was asked about the possibilities of facing Lesnar again, whether it be in an MMA fight or a staged spectacle at a pro-wrestling show.
Mir revealed that working an angle with Lesnar in the WWE was something he had shown interest in. However, he said, this idea never gained any traction.
“I wanted to put myself in a position by going out there and being successful at it, but it was one of those things where it wasn’t even in the talks,” Mir said (ht MMA Fighting).
Mir went on to say he would absolutely “be game” for a third MMA fight with Lesnar. Though, he seriously doubts Lesnar would entertain such a match-up.
“Not on his radar, I guess. Just not that he wanted to do it. When you’re the A-side, he’s a draw money-wise, he gets to make more of the calls. From what I was told, because of the way I responded after the second fight, he truly felt that I was a little off. I think in Lesnar’s mind, how could you want to fight me again? People don’t [want to see it], so there’s something wrong with [me] that I think made him uneasy.”
Mir continued to fight in the UFC for seven years after his bouts with Lesnar. During that run he scored big wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He left the promotion in 2017 and signed with Bellator MMA.
He’s 1-2 in Bellator with a win over former UFC foe Roy Nelson. His debut for the company was a KO loss to Fedor Emlianenko.
Mir has since appeared in the pro boxing ring. In 2021 he fought former IBF cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren, losing by decision. Also in 2021 he fought former unified heavyweight title challenger Kubrat Pulev at Triad Combat. He lost that bout by first round TKO.
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