Frank Mir Testing Free-Agency
By Ross Markey
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Frank Mir may have a single fight left on his Bellator MMA contract – a contract in which he will honour, but the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace has revealed he will test free-agency after reaching an agreement with organizational president, Scott Coker.
The 40-year-old, who has been competing on a professional level for an astonishing twenty years come July, will still make a final Bellator walk – having featured three times for the promotion since his switch from the UFC back in 2018. Since his move to Coker’s organization, Mir has gone 1-2, losing to both Fedor Emelianenko, and Javy Ayala, before securing a second decision win over Roy Nelson last October.
Speaking with co-host, Richard Hunter, on his podcast, Phone Booth Fighting, Mir explained his decision to test free-agency, discussed the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the promotion – before outlining his intent to pick up the microphone once again, possibly with former employers, the UFC. Mir had previously commentated for Coker’s promotion, WEC, as well as taking duty in Russian promotion, Absolute Championship Akhmat’s booth.
“Basically, I had a good conversation with Scott Coker,” Mir explained. “(I’m) still going to have a fight with them, just because there’s a fight left on my fight contract. Scott was very easy to talk to about it – their company is shut down, he hasn’t even left his house in three weeks – so, once they startup, there’s going to be a backlog of fights because they have so many fighters on their roster. So now I’m basically, not basically, I am a free agent. Even though I would still do fights for Bellator, I’m not beholden to any contract to anybody now. So, I can try out the free market and see whoever opens up to fighting first.”
Mir, who had featured under the UFC banner from 2001 to 2018, has expressed interest in possibly featuring in the commentary booth for them, as a colour-commentator. The Las Vegas native also explained how the idea of plying his trade in Japan was always a “dream” of his. The longtime Jackson-Wink MMA staple was enticed by the potential RIZIN FF event scheduled for this coming August.
“It has always been a dream of mine to fight in Japan,” Mir stated. “I remember watching the old PRIDEs back in the day, and RIZIN looks like they have a card coming up in August. So, now I’m opened up to where now I can actually start talking to other companies and seeing where to go, which is great for commentary stuff, as I know before being exclusive fight-wise with Bellator I think hurt me as far as maybe commentating for the UFC. So, maybe it’ll open up that avenue to where I could start commentary for UFC fights again and other organizations.”
Mir ended his UFC stint with a two-fight slide which included losses to Mark Hunt and former champion, Andrei Arlovski. After his bout with Hunt in Brisbane, Australia, Mir was notified by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, that a test sample he had submitted had been flagged due to the presence of oral turinabol. Mir maintains he had never taken any sort of performance-enhancing supplements.
The submission-specialist achieved UFC heavyweight champion status back in 2004 via a memorable armbar victory over Tim Sylvia. Four years later, Mir was crowned the interim heavyweight king, via an even more infamous kimura submission of the iconic, Minotauro Nogeuria, breaking the Brazilian’s arm in the process. The 5th. degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has also notched notable wins over Brock Lesnar, Antoni Hardonk, Tank Abbott, Pete Williams, Mirko Cro Cop, and ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.