Heavyweight Frank Mir may already be headed to the UFC Hall of Fame when he hangs up his gloves, but at Saturday’s UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Mir has the chance to erase any doubt of whether he deserves such an accolade.
Mir’s heavyweight record 14 wins inside the Octagon and devastating submission game are more than enough for consideration into the exclusive club.
Yet, Mir’s inability to remain at the top of the division hurts the case for his inclusion. After all, every other member dominated their weight class for an extensive period of time.
When the cage door shuts at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 26, Mir will look to recapture the UFC belt that he has already held twice in the past.
However, he’ll be facing the type of fighter that has been his kryptonite in the past: vicious knockout artist—and current champion—Junior dos Santos.
Although Mir has numerous, memorable submissions on his lengthy record—such as breaking the arms of both Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira—you’ll find a number of equally embarrassing defeats, all by KO or TKO.
He was demolished by heavy-hitters Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar, but he has been able to work his way back into title contention—with a little bit of luck.
Had it not been for Alistair Overeem’s failed pre-fight drug test, who knows if Mir would’ve ever been granted another shot at UFC gold. Yet, here he is, in the position to become champion once again.
Certainly there are other factors in Mir’s candidacy, beyond this current fight. The fact that he overcame a serious motorcycle accident following his first title run to capture the interim belt in 2008 has to be taken into consideration.
Again, being that he was forced to vacate the belt due to injury and failed to unify the interim belt are significant arguments against his place in the elite group.
Mir is in the driver’s seat if he wants to prove he belongs. If he can finally figure out how to solve the puzzle that has derailed his past runs, and defeat dos Santos, it would be very hard to deny his place in UFC history.