Frank Mir's 5 Defining Moments in the Octagon

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIMay 31, 2011

Frank Mir's 5 Defining Moments in the Octagon

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    Frank Mir has been in the UFC for nearly ten years now and is the longest contracted heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship today.

    Mir has became a mainstay in both the UFC and the top ten heavyweight world rankings over the last decade. He has had his ups and downs but when the smoke has cleared Frank has always been there.

    Saturday night, May 28, 2011, Mir defeated fellow Las Vegas native Roy "Big Country" Nelson by unanimous decision for his second straight win inside the Octagon. The win moved Frank back up the ladder and it is now assured that his next opponent will be a very tough challenger indeed.

    This slideshow will highlight the five biggest career moments in the UFC for former two time heavyweight champion Frank Mir.

5. UFC 34 High Voltage, 11/2/2001, Octagon Debut

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    Frank entered the Octagon for the first time in only his third fight. He entered the UFC the same year that Dana White and the Fertitta brothers took over the failing organization. Frank would become one of the first shining beacons of hope in the new UFC.

    In his first appearance in the UFC Frank Mir showed that he was a true MMA prodigy. He submitted Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner Roberto Travern in just over one minute. He made quite an impression and it foreshadowed great things to come from the youngster.

4. UFC 81, 2/2/2008, Mir Takes Lesnar to School

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    At UFC 81 Mir was once again on the rise in the UFC's heavyweight division and he was chosen to introduce monster heavyweight and former WWE champion Brock Lesnar to the Octagon.

    After getting mauled by Lesnar for the first few minutes of the contest, referee Steve Mazzagati stopped the action. The UFC official took a point from Lesnar and may have saved Frank from a technical knockout loss.

    Frank ended up trapping Lesnar's leg in a kneebar and the mammoth heavyweight was forced to tap. Mir celebrated and Lesnar looked confused. A year a half later the two would meet again at UFC 100 with much different results for Frank Mir, but this night belonged to him.

    February 2, 2008 made the world realize that Frank Mir was still a top heavyweight, a thought that had been nearly lost in previous years.

3. UFC 107, 12/12/2009, Mir Dominates Cheick Kongo

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    After being mauled by Brock Lesnar in their rematch at UFC 100, Frank knew he needed to rebound in a big way. He did just that.

    Frank made Cheick Kongo furious leading up to their December 2009 encounter, saying that Cheick has the worst ground game in the UFC. At the same time Frank was sharpening his ever-improving standup skills to couple with his relentless submission attack.

    At the opening bell of the bout, Mir circled Kongo and pawed with a right jab. After less than a minute of this Mir landed an overhand left that sent Kongo tumbling to the mat, and before the Frenchman could stand back up Mir sunk in a guillotine choke that put Kongo to sleep.

    Once again Frank Mir showed that he had been beaten but he was still one of the best in the world. He took out Cheick Kongo in less time than it took him to walk to the Octagon.

2. UFC 92, 12/27/2008, Frank Mir Finishes "Minotauro"

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    This was easily one of the best fight cards, if not the best, that the UFC has ever showcased. On top of this great fight, Quinton Jackson took on Wanderlei Silva for the third time and UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin took on top contender Rashad Evans.

    The night featured three great matchups and each of them would end in a knockout.

    After defeating Antoni Hardonk in the fall of 2007, Mir submitted Brock Lesnar in February 2008. At UFC 92 he looked to make it three in a row by defeating a mixed martial arts legend.

    Mir won by technical knockout in round two after flooring Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the third time. Mir became the first man to finish the legend.

    It was found out later that Rodrigo had a torn meniscus and was recovering from staph infection. That being said this was still a huge victory for Frank Mir and one that made him the UFC interim heavyweight champion.

    After the bout an emotional Frank Mir gave an inspiring speech. After winning the UFC heavyweight title the first time, Mir had been the victim of a motorcycle crash, losing his title and nearly his career. UFC 92 showed that Frank had come full circle. I think we felt emotional and how could you not with all he had been through.

1. UFC 48 Payback, 6/19/2004, Frank Mir Becomes UFC Heavyweight Champion

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    Frank Mir entered the Octagon at UFC 48 riding a wave of success and optimism. He was young, arrogant and he could back it up. Frank was riding high after a three fight win streak in the UFC. He had just turned 25 and at that time he was something special that the sport of mixed martial arts rarely sees.

    It is true he was confident bordering on downright cocky but you couldn't blame the kid. He was just that good.

    Forty seconds into the bout it went to the ground. Mir then used the cage to sweep to an armbar attempt. Sylvia tried to pick Frank up to escape the hold. Frank then secured the lock and broke Tim Sylvia's arm right in half. Sylvia didn't even realize what had happened and tried to continue. Referee Herb Dean rushed in to tell Tim that his arm was broken.

    Frank Mir was the new heavyweight champion of the UFC. He won by technical submission in 50 seconds. A subsequent motorcycle crash almost completely derailed the career of Frank Mir and he has never been quite the same. I often wonder how things would have been different had Frank decided to stay home on that fateful day. We will never know.

    What I do know is that he was one of the most dominant Octagon warriors before his accident and he is still that same man today.

    After his win at UFC 130 on May 28, 2011, Frank moved one step closer to the UFC title that he once held. What does the future hold for him? We can only sit and wait for now.