Frank Mir’s best days are behind him yet we in MMA are intrigued, almost spellbound, by his never-ending story.

Mir has had more than one comeback is his saga. He’s been a lost cause twice yet someway, somehow, he is still relevant in the UFC’s heavyweight division. And it’s not a thin division by any means with the likes of former champions Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos situated as the top-two contenders behind champion Fabricio Werdum. There are legitimate threats in the potentially dangerous Stipe Miocic and surging Ben Rothwell plus the puncher’s chance collection of Travis Browne, Mark Hunt, and Josh Barnett.

Mir will get his own chance to become a serious contender again when he meets another former champion and comeback story in his own right, Andrei Arlovski, at UFC 191 on September 5 in Las Vegas.

Mir was a fascinating champ back in 2004 as his bountiful jiu-jitsu skills were showcased when he snapped the arm of Tim Sylvia to take his belt. But a motorcycle accident steered Mir of course to the point where he took a brutal beating against Brandon Vera in 2006. Two years and only one fight later, Mir welcome Brock Lesnar to the UFC and looked to be on the verge of another savage beating only to be saved by a questionable refereeing decision and ultimately his opponent’s lack of ground defense.

A year later, Lesnar exacted his revenge in a title unification bout that Mir had earned after handing Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira the first knockout loss of his storied career. Slowly but surely Mir started to fade for a second time. He was KO’d by Shane Carwin but bounced back with three straight wins including a knee KO of Mirko Cro Cop that saved an otherwise dreadful performance by both men and rendering overrated human snooze button Cheick Kongo unconscious.

After turning Nogueira’s arm into kindling in a 2011 rematch, Mir himself was broken. Crushing knockouts courtesy Dos Santos and Josh Barnett were sandwiched between decision setback to Daniel Cormier and Alistair Overeem. The Overeem loss marked Mir’s fourth straight defeat and in February 2014 it seemed the end had finally come for one of the UFC’s most-popular figures.

Fast-forward a year later and the virtually forgotten man was back from the scrapheap. Mir destroyed Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in Brazil. Five months after that, Mir, in his second straight main event, blasted through Todd Duffee in just over a minute.

Where was this coming from? How was Mir doing it?

Mir could have lost his life riding that motorcycle, and most surely could have had his career ended.

After the accident Mir stated that he wished he could say that he never wanted to quit and that he was going to beat the odds. It wasn’t true, he said. He did want to quit.

Thanks goodness he didn’t. He changed his training. He changed his diet. He adapted, refined and redeveloped his strategy and skill-set.

If Mir can get by Arlovski, it sets the table for possibly something very special.

Should he come through relatively unscathed and healthy, Mir could see his way back into action before the end of the year or perhaps on the January 2nd, 2016 card. One possible matchup could see Mir take on the winner of September’s other interesting heavyweight tilt when Josh Barnett meets Roy Nelson in Japan.

It could all fall into place for Mir that on July 22nd, 2016, at UFC 200 in his hometown of Las Vegas, he gets yet another crack at the heavyweight crown.

That would be quite a chapter in the Frank Mir story.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.