Freelance: Frank Mir Released by UFC
Former UFC heavyweight (265-pound) champion Frank Mir announced recently that he had been granted his release from the UFC, ending a run of almost 16 years. He had requested this action some time ago following a fight with Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt in March, after which he was flagged for a possible doping violation by the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA.)
Mir, who famously submitted WWE superstar and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in Lesnar’s UFC debut, has been out of action since that time. He claimed following the incident that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and blamed the positive test results on possibly tainted kangaroo meat he had eaten before the fight as the fight took place in Australia. He does plan on continuing his career
The USADA suspension that Mir is under will be in place until April of 2018. However, the organization is exclusively partnered with the UFC when it comes to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA,) meaning that Mir is free to look for work with other organizations. Signing with Bellator appears to be a possibility for him at the moment.
He said on the last episode of his podcast, “...I think Matt Mitrione is a super tough guy, very athletic but I think that I’d probably get more pay-per-view buys if I fought Fedor. Mitrione would probably elevate my status more, a victory over him at this point, towards moving up the rankings but I’m kinda past that part of my career. I’d rather fight named fighters and Fedor’s somebody I’ve always wanted to fight and I think that it would be nice to be able to complete that kind of Who’s Who of my resume.”
Mir holds the UFC records for: most fights (27), wins (16), stoppages (13) and submissions (eight) and he had been with the world leader in MMA for 5,727 days according to USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com.
Outside of fighting, Mir had also been struggling to get UFC work as a commentator due to his USADA issue (he had been a commentator for the now-defunct UFC sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting or WEC) but is currently filling that role for Absolute Combat Berkut (ACB.) He feels that retirement is nowhere in his immediate future and that he could be of long-term use to the UFC’s rival or MMA in general.
Mir estimated on his show that he has a goal of fighting at least once per year and two to three times over the course of the next two years, wanting big fights now that he his in the twilight phase of his fighting career. Age 45 is when he expects to hang up his four-ounce gloves.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has not yet commented on Mir release from his competitor but has taken a number of former UFC fighter under his promotional banner for a wide variety of reasons as of late.
Mir originally won the UFC’s heavyweight championship at 2004’s UFC 48 by defeating Tim Sylvia in just 50 seconds, breaking his arm with an armbar submission in the process.He was later stripped of the belt and suffered a lengthy off-period due to a motorcycle accident but would later win an interim title prior to his UFC 100 rematch loss to Lesnar.