UFC: Ranking Every Submission Win in the Career of Frank Mir

Kevin HessAnalyst IDecember 12, 2011

UFC: Ranking Every Submission Win in the Career of Frank Mir

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    After UFC 140 there was a passing of the torch, so to speak, when Frank Mir put any thoughts to rest of who is the best Heavyweight submission specialist in the sport of mixed martial arts, earning his ninth submission victory.

    In Mir's nine wins by way of submission, Frank has utilized an amazing seven different types of submission holds to gain victory over his opponents.

    With his most recent win, Frank Mir has solidified himself as a top three contender in the Heavyweight division and will be remembered for being the first and only man to defeat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by both knockout stoppage and submission stoppage.

    I thought it would be fun to rank every submission victory by Mir in order of importance to his career. And with his many different types of submissions I thought it would be a good way to brush up on the history of Frank Mir.

    So let's begin!

No. 9

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    Starting off this list will be his first ever submission victory which was a result of a triangle choke over Dan Quinn that took place on August 31st, 2001 at the International Fighting Championships Warriors Challenge 15.

    This fight would launch Frank Mir into the UFC where he has remained ever since.

No. 8

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    One hundred UFC events ago, Frank Mir was scheduled to meet a returning Tank Abbott at UFC 40 on June 19th, 2004.

    This was billed to be the huge comeback of Tank Abbott to the UFC but Mir decided to play the part of spoiler, which he has become accustomed to over the years.

    Frank targeted the lower body of Abbott after transitioning from an omoplata where he quickly won by securing a rarely used toe hold ankle lock in just 46 seconds.

    The best part about this might have been Ken Shamrock trying to explain what happened to Mike Goldberg afterwards.

No. 7

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    It's not everyday that a submission hold gets named after a fighter but Mir re-wrote the definition of a Shoulder Crank when he fought Pete Williams at UFC 36 on March 22nd, 2002.

    Williams was determined to make a return to the top of the Heavyweight division and was supposed to use Frank Mir as his springboard.

    Unfortunately for Williams it took Mir only 46 seconds to force him to tap out using a Mir-Lock which ultimately sent Williams into retirement.

No. 6

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    After suffering a loss to Brock Lesnar and failing to unify the Heavyweight Championship at UFC 100, Mir was looking to make a statement that would put him back into the title hunt.

    Unfortunately it was Cheick Kongo who would have his card pulled at UFC 107 on December 12th, 2009.

    Mir absolutely rocked Kongo with a huge overhand left and quickly pounced on him, securing a Guillotine Choke resulting in Kongo going unconscious after refusing to tap out. 

    The victory, which only took 1:12 seconds to accomplish, set Mir up for a Interim Title Fight against Shane Carwin. 

No. 5

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    In another match where Mir was to be the sacrificial lamb, the UFC paired him up with a new arrival to their Heavyweight ranks.

    This man was a highly touted Division I wrestling national champion at the University of Minnesota and former WWE superstar, Brock Lesnar.

    On February 2nd, 2008 at UFC 81, Lesnar came out and exploded on Mir which caught everybody off-guard, including Mir himself. Mir fought through the relentless offense and secured a knee bar upon Lesnar just 1:30 into the match which forced him to tap out.

    This match spoiled Lesnar's arrival into the UFC while landing Mir a championship fight and a coaching spot on Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter against Interim Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

No. 4

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    As a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Frank Mir's first match in the UFC came against a 6th degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Two-Time Champion of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Roberto Traven at UFC 34 on November 2nd, 2001.

    Mir overwhelmed Traven and locked in an armbar that ended the fight in 1:05.

    This was the first of many submission victories inside of the Octagon and put Mir on the map as one of the better submission specialists in the Heavyweight division by defeating such a highly talented Jiu-Jitsu opponent.

No. 3

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    Frank Mir suffered a motorcycle accident that nearly ended his career after winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

    Mir struggled mentally and physically to get back to the level he was accustomed to. The UFC was patient with Mir and paired him up against Antoni Hardonk at UFC 74 on August 25th, 2007 in what could have been Frank Mir's last match had he lost.

    Instead Mir looked born again, finishing Hardonk with a Kimura in just 1:17 much to the approval of his wife who was seen celebrating in the crowd.

    This wasn't the most difficult opponent Mir ever faced, but this served as one of Mir's most important career moments. Mir stated to the cameras and crowd after the win, "Now you're gonna see the real Frank Mir" and hasn't looked back since.

No. 2

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    On June 19th, 2004 at UFC 48, Frank Mir was given his first opportunity to fight for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship against then division monster and former champion, Tim Sylvia.

    Sylvia started off fast and quickly found himself overwhelming Mir, taking him down to the mat where Sylvia was looking to land some ground-n-pound offense.

    Mir had other plans though. Falling into Mir's full guard, Sylvia found himself trying to escape the clutches of Mir as he secured an armbar on Sylvia. This resulted in one of the most memorable submission stoppages in UFC history.

    Sylvia argued referee Herb Dean's stoppage but the video replay made everyone fully aware of what happened. The reason for the stoppage was Sylvia's forearm was broken in four places which required a metal plate to be attached to. 

    This earned Mir his first UFC Heavyweight Championship at age 25 as he seemingly sat on the top of the world.

No. 1

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    On December 10th, 2011 at UFC 140, Frank Mir did what many Mixed Martial Arts experts and fans would have deemed impossible just a single day prior to the event.

    Mir's UFC 140 opponent, Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira was no stranger to him.

    At UFC 92, Mir was selected to fight against the then 2nd ranked Heavyweight in the world as a decisive under-dog. After coaching opposite Nogueira on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Mir would square off against Nog for his UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship. Mir devastated Nogueira with powerful combinations, becoming the first fighter to ever defeat Nogueira by a stoppage (TKO).

    Three years later at UFC 140 it would be Nogueira looking for the upset victory.

    Nogueira came out aggressive and after some positional battles he landed a clean right hand that put Mir on rubber legs. As Nogueira looked to finish Mir he found himself unable to land effective strikes and sought out a guillotine choke.

    Mir recovered quickly and rolled into top position where he was countered by an escape by Nogueira in which Nog looked to grab onto Mir's back. Frank was able to pin Nog's right arm and jump out from Nog's position which landed him into side control and an attempt at a kimura. Recognizing the end could be near, Nog rolled over Mir but Mir held on strong to the arm, immediately rolling Nog again onto his back.

    With even better position and leverage, Mir added Big Nog's right arm to his trophy case, submitting Nogueira via Kimura in only 3:38.

    Fun Fact: Herb Dean was the referee for both of Frank Mir's arm breakage victories.