Why Frank Mir Represents the Next Heavyweight Evolution: Fan's Take (Yahoo! Contributor Network)


By Nick Meyer,

Frank Mir has been a multiple UFC champion, and he's made his latest run back to contention following a devastating motorcycle accident and subsequent injuries that would have caused many athletes to retire.

As Mir prepares to face Cain Velasquez at UFC 146 for a possible shot at the title, fans should take a step back to realize the unique skills, and a possible template for the next generation of heavyweights, that he's brought to the table.

I was never a Mir fan in the past but I've grown to like and respect him recently, especially after his stunning submission win over my MMA hero Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, during which he broke Nogueira's arm with a wicked, unexpected kimura against one of the top jiu-jitsu fighters in heavyweight history.

Nogueira didn't expect Mir to be able to deliver the kind of force, strength and leverage with the move as quickly as he did, and 'Big Nog' is a legend who's rolled with many of the top practitioners of BJJ in the history of the martial art.

Mir caught Nogueira by surprise because of his strength, and it could be a sign of things to come in the heavyweight division for those who take the lesson and apply it moving forward: Jiu-jitsu plus elite strength and leverage means lights out, even for the best of the best.

Currently, the UFC's heavyweight division is stacked with mostly power strikers like Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, who will fight for the title soon, and wrestlers like Cain Velasquez who usually begin adding striking to their skillset before they focus on submission offense.

There are a few top-shelf jiu-jitsu guys like Fabricio Werdum and Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva in the mix as well, but they don't quite have the overall game that Mir does just yet.

The success of middle-tier heavyweights in terms of weight over the years such as Fedor Emelianenko, dos Santos, and Velasquez who excel with speed and cardio also should be noted, but such a size could lend itself to being more easily submitted.

I was shocked as a fan at the speed and precision with which Mir submitted Nogueira, and how brutal it was. It all happened so fast and before the fans knew it, Nogueira went from a potential win to a trip to the hospital.

I've seen pretty much every big fight in Mir's career and I acknowledge that he still has many holes in his game; in fact I think Velasquez will likely beat him.

But make no mistake about it, Mir will go down as a legend despite the lukewarm fan support he has gotten in recent years at times, and he could go down as a pioneer as well. Once we start seeing heavyweight grapplers with the ability to rip an arm off in the blink of an eye like Mir, and heavyweights who can marry that ability with the kind of powerful striking and athleticism Mir is a bit lacking in, the division may never be the same again.

Nick Meyer is a longtime MMA fan from Metro Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @ItOffishul.

Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 3 hours ago
  • 6 views

Good thing Brendan Schaub has no trouble finding opponents. Despite being called out by "Big Brown," former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Frank Mir is no closer to making read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 239 views

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar again captured the WWE heavyweight title at SummerSlam Saturday night, and one of the first men to congratulate him was none other than Jon Jones "Bones," read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 307 views

With UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones now facing Daniel Cormier in January, Anthony Johnson is already thinking ahead. UFC president Dana White claimed Johnson could be next for an odd man ou read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 22 views

UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey conducts a fan Q and A in Macau, China, prior to the start of the UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le (UFC Fight Night 48) weigh-ins. The event kicks off at read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira revealed that he plans on retiring by the end of 2015 when he completes his UFC contract. Antonio ‘Minotauro' Nogueira is not prep read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 13 views

At the UFC 180 press conference, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum will discuss their upcoming clash Tuesday afternoon. The two fighters will square off on Nov. 15 in Mexico read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

Because gluten is making a comeback! Eat your Wheaties! Unless you have Celiac disease or some other wheat sensitivity. Or you can just buy a box because it's orange and has Ultimate Fighting Champio read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 0 views

A light heavyweight match-up between former division champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Jimi Manuwa is being targeted for the Nov. 8 UFC card in Brazil, according to a report on Wednesday. read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 59 views

Frank Mir suggested that he would fight Big Nog for the third time but it depends on the approval of the UFC. Former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir has accepted a challenge to conclude his trilog read news >>