UFC 140 Results: 5 Things We Learned About Frank Mir

Joe Schafer@joeschafer84Correspondent IDecember 11, 2011

UFC 140 Results: 5 Things We Learned About Frank Mir

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    UFC 140 delivered from top to bottom with an abundance of exciting finishes, historical victories and decisive implications for some of the sport’s biggest names. Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua’s gritty five-round war at UFC 139 seems like a distant memory quickly fading away into the company’s rich archives due to the memorable performances put on by guys from the prelims up to the main event at UFC 140.

    One of those guys propelled his status and star power into the stratosphere by beating a legend at his own game. If Frank Mir was invisible to some fans before UFC 140, he is definitely not now. Everybody watching last night’s co-main event really “saw” Frank Mir do what made him a heavyweight star to begin with: impose powerfully technical Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

    During a rough start in the open minutes of the first round, Mir looked like he was fighting himself from the first fight with Nogueira. His striking was too slow, hands too low and he paid for it after getting wobbled and almost finished by Nogueira’s quicker more accurate punches.

    The rest is history. An overzealous Nogueira decided to trade in his ground and pound for a guillotine attempt, which apparently awoken the inner “Jits” beast everybody knew was lurking in Mir’s muscular body.

    It took a matter of seconds for that beast to start breathing fire. Mir’s instinct, technique and strength took the wheel from there and the result was an arm-breaking kimura on a man who had never been submitted in his long standing career.

    Like myself, I’m sure fans “see” Frank Mir in a whole new light after his second victory over Nogueira. His personality may be an acquired tasted, but his submission skills are on a whole another level than anybody competing at heavyweight.

    Is this the next coming of a former champion? Let’s quickly dissect what could be the building blocks of a revelation in the making, a rejuvenation of a fighter who was on pace to being a popular journeyman after lackluster victories over Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro-Cop and devastating losses to Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin.

    If the Frank Mir that showed up against Nogueira last night is here to stay—the powerful submission expert with improved striking—we will be on the verge of a new contention run.

Frank Mir Has Become a Powerful Heavyweight

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    It's no secret Frank Mir has packed on more muscle—almost out of necessity after experiencing the strength of guys like Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar. Before those two fights and after his motorcycle accident, Mir had trouble returning to physical form, showing up out of shape against Marcio Cruz and Brandon Vera.

    The days of seeing a pudgy Mir in the octagon seem to be disappearing in the rear-view mirror. He has greatly improved his strength and condition training for the last couple of years now and seems to be back in full swing.

    At the weigh-ins, Mir tipped the scale at the heavyweight max of 265 pounds and it was all due to shredded muscle. 

    Frank Mir has become one of the biggest and most powerful guys in the division, which makes his striking and submissions much more dangerous since he'll be able to impose advantageous positions better. 

Frank Mir's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Is the Best in the Business

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    From the beginning stages of his career, Mir has always been a huge treat on the ground, submitting nine out of the 16 opponents he has defeated. He has successfully ended fights with a wide range of submissions, including everything from toe holds to knee bars and obviously bone crushing kimuras. 

    Mir has fought with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu since the early days, having studied the martial art since high school. Obviously the technical prowess of Mir's submission game has always made him a standout competitor in the UFC.

    What really makes Mir's Brazilian jiu-jitsu scary, at this point in his career, is the addition of his strength and power training. 

    There may be an unspoken code among black belts not to tap in a fight, but Nogueira's arms are strong enough to withstand a lot of pressure. For his arm to get torqued like it did as quickly as it did, says a lot about Mir's hybrid form of power BJJ. He adds the strength to the technical and gets a brutal result. 

    In addition to the heavyweight division, a case can be made that Mir has the most destructive BJJ in all of MMA right now.

Frank Mir Is a Bone-Crushing BJJ Practitioner in the Octagon

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    Mir must hold the record for most professional MMA victories due to popping limbs. After watching what he did to Nogueira's arm at UFC 140, there's no doubt future foes will think twice about going to the ground with him. Here's a quick list of his bone shattering wins when opponents failed to tap.

    Roberto Traven - broken arm due to an armbar at UFC 34 (Mir's octagon debut)

    Tim Sylvia - broken arm due to an armbar at UFC 48 (won UFC heavyweight title)

    Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira - broken shoulder/arm due to a kimura at UFC 140 (rematch)

UFC 140 Was the Best Performance of Frank Mir's Career

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    It's hard to top defeating your idol twice, once on the feet and once on the ground. Especially when this idol is Antonio Nogueira, who has trained with the Cuba national boxing team and is (or was) considered the best ground specialist in MMA. 

    Whether Nogueira's shoulder got dislocated or his arm got broken by the kimura from last night's UFC 140, Mir dethroned one of the great MMA submission practitioners ever and at his own game, making him the most dangerous heavyweight ground specialist possibly ever. 

    There was no belt involved in his personal triumph over Nogueira, but the magnitude of winning his fight surpasses all past achievements.

    Mir won his UFC debut against Roberto Traven by popping his arm in an armbar, broke Tim Sylvia's arm in an armbar for the UFC heavyweight title, won submission of the year for his kneebar against Brock Lesnar and won the UFC heavyweight interim belt against Nogueira in their first fight. 

    Let's not forget, Mir also slapped a toe hold on iconic Tank Abbott fresh in his career. Maybe that last achievement could be overlooked, but nevertheless Mir will go down as one of the greats at heavyweight with the help of dismantling a legend like Nogueira like he did last night.

Frank Mir Is a Fight Away from Getting Another Shot at the Title

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    Mir was riding a two fight win streak—victories over Mirko Cro-Cop and Roy Nelson—going into his rematch with Nogueira at UFC 140. 

    Considering who the opponent was and how he lost to Mir, it doesn't get much more decisive than an arm shattering kimura. This win extends his winning streak to three and has him on path to face a top contender in the near future. 

    Unlike the welterweight and lightweight divisions, heavyweight has slim picking once you get past Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar (debatable if he is still truly worthy of a title shot at the moment) and Alistair Overeem, but Mir helps add depth—especially after this recent win.

    His next fight could be very interesting with title implications. Shane Carwin has a win I'm sure Mir would be eager to get back and Cain Velasquez just lost his title to Junior Dos Santos. A win over either of those guys would put Mir at the footsteps of the current champ. 

    If recent Internet rumors are true about Alistair Overeem being hurt (or sidelined due to his mother's failing health), he could step in as an alternate in hopes of redeeming his lost to Brock Lesnar, too. 

    Either way you look at it, Frank Mir is back in the title picture. 

    Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC 140. B/R is your home for complete coverage of the December 10 fight card, including results and post-fight analysis.