The 411 MMA Top 10 2.10.14: Top 10 Frank Mir Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 02.10.2014
From his wars with Brock Lesnar and epic battles with Big Nog to his fights with Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson, Tim Sylvia and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Frank Mir fights of all-time!
Frank Mir's Top Ten Fights
What's up everybody, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at Frank Mir's top ten fights. Mir's career is dwindling down as he lost his fourth fight in a row last weekend and his UFC status is up in the air right now. The two time UFC heavyweight champion has the most fights, wins, and submission victories in the history of the UFC heavyweight division. I'm not a Mir fan, but he is one of the best fighters of all time. The rankings this week are based on fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion.
VS Wes Sims UFC 46- Mir won via second round KO
VS Roberto Traven UFC 34- Mir won via first round armbar
10: VS Mirko Cro Cop UFC 119
Now this fight wasn't great by any means, but it makes the list for a few reasons. It was Mir's first fight since getting wrecked by Shane Carwin and losing out on the UFC interim heavyweight title, but mainly a lackluster victory over Mirko Cro Cop is worth more than his quick submission victories over lackluster fighters. They didn't do much for about three rounds, but Mir knocked Cro Cop down with a knee and followed it up with ground and pound for the win. Mir picked up the Knockout of the Night as he defeated one of the best strikers and best heavyweights of all time.
9: VS Roy Nelson UFC 130
Roy Nelson is a one dimensional fighter, but he still only usually loses to the best heavyweights in the world. Nelson was still fairly new to the UFC at this point and only two fights removed from winning TUF. Mir just dominated Big Country in this one. Nelson was winded by the second round and Mir picked him apart with striking, wrestling, ground and pound, and some nice knees in the clinch. Nelson is next to impossible to finish, but Mir beat him pretty good and won by unanimous decision to maintain his top spot in the UFC's heavyweight division.
8: VS Antoni Hardonk UFC 74
Frank Mir was forced to relinquish his UFC heavyweight title in 2004 after an unfortunate motorcycle accident. He came back in 2006 and went 1-2, but it was clear to everyone he just wasn't the same. Things started to turn around for him when he took on Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk on the prelims portion of UFC 74. Yeah, the UFC didn't even want to put him on the pay per view at that point. In a striker vs grappler battle, Mir won. Mir locked in a kimura in a little over a minute and both Mir and his wife were emotional after the win.
7: VS Pete Williams UFC 36
In his second UFC fight and only his fourth MMA fight overall, Frank Mir took on Lion's Den member and UFC vet Pete Williams. Williams was a former number one contender for the UFC heavyweight title and he'll always be remembered for his awesome head kick knockout over Mark Coleman at UFC 17. Mir submitted the tough veteran in only 46 seconds with a modified shoulder lock that some people now name after Mir. This was the only time Williams was ever submitted and he would retire after the fight.
6: VS Tank Abbott UFC 41
A UFC tournament runner up and former UFC heavyweight number one contender, Tank Abbott was a mainstay in the early days of the UFC. Abbott has the record for competing in the most UFC tournaments and would always make it to the next round, but then he would lose to the better and more elite fighters of that generation like Severn, Frye, and Taktarov. He left the UFC in 1998 for WCW, but he would announce his return in 2002 at UFC 40. His first opponent was a young Frank Mir. Mir finished off the veteran in only forty six seconds with a toe hold, the only toe hold finish ever in the UFC.
5: VS Cheick Kongo UFC 107
Mir took on Cheick Kongo in the co-main event of UFC 107 and it was a big fight as they were both coming off losses. Mir just lost the title to Brock Lesnar and Kongo was just knocked out of title contention by Cain Velasquez. This was also Mir's first fight with his new larger muscular frame. There was some trash talk and weigh in drama to make things a little more interesting as well. Before the fight Mir said that Kongo had no ground game, Mir would turn out to be the better striker too as he knocked him down with a left hand and jumped on top of him to lock in a guillotine choke. Kongo refused to tap, so Mir choked him unconscious.
4: VS Tim Sylvia UFC 48
Tim Sylvia is a former two time UFC heavyweight champion and he defended the title three times over the two reigns. He took on Mir for the heavyweight title he lost after testing positive for steroids in 2003. For some reason Tim Sylvia decided to takedown Frank Mir, so he ended up in an armbar. Sylvia tried to escape, but Herb Dean stopped the fight as he saw Sylvia's arm break. Nobody saw it at first until the super slow motion replay and Sylvia didn't even realize his own arm was broken. Mir picked up his first title as he gave Sylvia his first loss.
3: VS Brock Lesnar UFC 81
So Brock Lesnar fought former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in his UFC debut and only second overall MMA fight, cause that was totally fair. A lot of people dislike Lesnar and question his credibility, but I don't think anyone has ever had a tougher opponent in their second fight. Anyway, Lesnar took Mir down almost immediately and started laying in hammerfists. Though a couple of these caught Mir in the back of the head so they were stood back up and Lesnar was deducted a point. Some viewed this as controversial, but Lesnar knocked him down a few seconds later. Lesnar tried to get away from Mir's guard as he was going for an armbar, but as he was escaping Mir locked in a kneebar and won the Submission of the Night. It was a really nice transition. Mir would go on to challenge Nogueira for the interim title in his next fight and the rivalry between he and Lesnar would get much more heated down the road.
2: VS Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 92
UFC 92 drew one million pay per view buys as it was one of the most stacked cards the UFC has ever put on. These two former champions battled in the co-main event for the interim heavyweight title. The UFC set up the interim title while Randy Couture was sitting out with his contract dispute nonsense around 2008. Big Nog defeated Tim Sylvia in the main event at UFC 81. Then the UFC set up a mini tournament once Couture returned. Both fighters coached TUF season 8 to add on to the build of the fight. This season had lightweights and light heavyweights competing for spots in the UFC. Team Nogueira won both tournaments and many of the light heavyweights from that season are still in the UFC today. Anyway, by this point Brock Lesnar had defeated Couture and would take on the winner of this fight to unify the titles. Mir just dominated this fight with his boxing. A lot of people said the first round was 10-8 which I think is a little too much, but Mir did knock him down twice in the round. Nogueira looked better in the second round working in some leg kicks and jabs, but Mir dropped him with a left hook and finished him on the ground with a flurry of punches. Mir won his second UFC title and became the first person to finish Big Nog.
1: VS Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 140
Back in 2009, Frank Mir became the first person to finish of Nogueira with strikes. This was really impressive considering that Big Nog fought some elite strikers over in Pride like Fedor and Cro Cop. They met again two years later in the co-main event of UFC 140. This time Nogueira's striking was superior and he was hurting Mir. Mir got knocked down and Big Nog decided to go for a submission instead of trying to finish him off with strikes. Then we got to see something truly awesome. Mir rolled out of a guillotine, ended up in side control, and locked in a kimura. Mir ended up breaking Noegueira's arm as he refused to tap. It was a little gruesome for some, but that's why you have to tap sometimes. Mir was now the first person to defeat him by submission too. This was Mir's third win in a row and he would get his final UFC title shot next. The top three fights were all hard to rank this week, but this was his best performance to me.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
Next week will be ten potential opponents for Rich Franklin's final fight.