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What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. It's an old cliche but for Frank Mirr, the old adage is very true.
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Born on May 24, 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevado, Francisco Santos Mir III learned karate at his father's Kenpo school.
Mir took up wrestling in high school in order to help his defense against submission holds. Although he lost his first nine matches, he went on to win the state championship in his senior year.
He also played football and was a discus thrower in track and field. Later he received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
After being discovered by Joe Silva, UFC matchmaker, Mir began his MMA fighting. His debut was against Jerome Smith at HOOKnHOOT: Showdown on July 14, 2001. Five minutes into the second round, Mir won by unanimous decision.
Dan Quinn was Mir's second opponent at IFC: Warriors Challenge 15 in August. Mir won by a triangle choke in the first round.
Mir made his UFC debut in UFC 34: High Voltage on November 2, 2001 against Roberto Tavern, former ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion and 6th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Just one minute and five seconds in the first round, Mir defeated Tavern via armbar which earned him the "Tapout of the Night" award.
Two UFC events later, Mir went up against Pete Williams at an event entitled "Worlds Collide".
Giving Williams the first submission of William's career, Mir won the fight only forty-six seconds into the first round via a shoulder lock that is now named in his honor.
Williams retired after the loss.
Again, two UFCs later, Frank Mirr faced off with yet another opponent. This time he was up against Ian Freeman at UFC 38: Brawl in the Hall.
Freeman came on strong with elbows and punches that exhausted Mir and eventually cut his face causing a referee stoppage and TKO loss in the first round.
David "Tank" Abbott was next in line for Mir in February of 2003. In forty-six seconds Mir defeated Abbott by submission via toe hold.
Mir then took on Wes Sims at UFC 43: Meltdown. Obviously Sims was the one with the meltdown, illegally stomping Mir's face in the first round causing a himself to be disqualified and chalking up another win for Frank Mirr.
A rematch was held at UFC 46: Supernatural on January 31, 2004, New Years Eve. Four minutes and twenty-one seconds into round two, Mir was victorious again, winning by knockout.
Frank Mirr then went out for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship title. It was held on June 19, 2004 at UFC 48: Payback in a highly anticipated event that drew more pay-per-view viewers than UFC 47 with Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
The Silva Fight
Mir did not disappoint. Toe to toe against Tim Sylvia, winner of UFC 41 Heavyweight Championship, Mir came out like a storm, breaking Sylvia's arm in an armbar attempt.
Sylvia had tried to pull out of the hold and Mir pulled back harder causing the bone to break although Sylvia swore it was not broken.
The fight was stopped and Mir declared the winner only fifty seconds into the first round.
X-rays taken after the fight proved Silva's arm was indeed broken. Mir thus became the new UFC Heavyweight Champion. He also was awarded his Brazilian black-belt for his performance.
Just when Mir had really made a name for himself in the world of MMA, his fate would take a nasty twist.
On September 14, 2004, Frank Mirr was riding his motorcycle to work out when he was side-swiped by a car that was going 50 miles per hour.
He was thrown over 30 yard then slammed into the pavement. His leg injury was so horrific Joe Rogan, UFC commentator described it like this, "People have their legs amputated for this type of injury."
Because Mir was not able to defend his title, it was stripped from him.
Instead of being angry or becoming bitter, Frank Mirr set out to rehabilitate his leg and regain the title that was lost. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. That was his focus.
Mir returned to the octagon in UFC 57 on February 4, 2006 to fight third degree Jiu-Jitsu black-belt, Marcio Cruz.
Though Frank Mirr would lose the fight via TKO in the first round, he had shown his tenacity and determination just to walk into the ring.
Next up was Dan Christison at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. In a sloppy and dull fight, an overweight Mir won by unanimous decision in the third round.
In a better fight, Mir went up against Brandon Vera at UFC 65: Bad Intentions. Though he displayed his boxing skills and was lighter on his feet, Vera got him with a straight right and forced him to his knees where Vera, using elbows and punches by side control.
He won by TKO only one minute and nine seconds into round one.
Visibly shaken, Mir commented later, "I lost to a guy that shouldn't even have been a heavyweight."
The Old Mir: Defeats Lesner
But the old Mir would return and such were his words as he exited the ring after winning at UFC 74 against Antoni Hardonk with a kimura in the first round. "I'm back!" he told the crowd.
February 2, 2008 would be Mir's next fight. It was at UFC 81: Breaking Point against the former WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Right off the bat, Lesnar took Mir down with illegal punches to Mir's back.
Lesnar took Mir down again then Mir escaped an armbar attempt and came back with a kneebar which resulting in Lesnar tapping out one minute and thirty seconds into the first round.
Mir became the first and only fighter to date to defeat Lesnar.
The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter television MMA reality show began it's eighth season premier in September of 2008.
Frank Mirr coached opposite Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria. The two later took on a fight of their own at UFC 92 for UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion.
The winner would face off with the winner of Couture vs. Lesnar. Frank preformed well showing off his boxing skills and skilled striking ability and won the fight by TKO in the second round due to strikes.
Lesnar won against Randy Couture making him Mir's next opponent. The bout took place at UFC 100 in July of 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada and was for the title. The rematch would not go well for Mir, however. One minute and fourty eight seconds into the second round, the fight was stopped and Lesnar won TKO.
On December 12, 2009, Mir took on professional French heavyweight MMA artist and kickboxer, Cheick Kongo. Mir came on early with a left overhand, dropping Kongo followed by strikes then a guillotine choke which won the fight 1:12 into round one.
Mir went up against Shane Carwin for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship at UFC 111 on March 27, 2010. Mir used the clinch, where Carwin relied on short, powerful uppercuts to the face. Mir lost the fight via KO in the first round.
On September 10, 2010 at UFC 119, Mir defeated Filipovic via third round KO. He actually won with a knee from the clinch.
Where is he now? Mir is expected to fight Roy Nelson on May 28, 2011 at UFC 130.
Aside from MMA, Mir enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer and their children. He is currently ranked the #6 Heavyweight in the world by Sherdog.
Although it would appear to some that Mir falls short at times and appears to others to have been shorted, Frank Mir seems to just keep on keeping on...no matter what.
He holds the record for the second most knockouts, in the UFC (Silva is first). With a record of 21-8-0 he was a force to be recokoned with. He is one of the most popular MMA figures of all times.
Find out what made him so good, and where he came from...