Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will tie Tito Ortiz’s record for most fights for the promotion in Brisbane, Australia tonight (Saturday March 19, 2016). He takes on fellow legend of the sport Mark Hunt in the UFC Fight Night 85 main event, in a bout that will prove telling as to where either man’s career will be headed at this twilight stage. It will be Mir’s 27th fight in 15 years, having fought outside the Zuffa banner only twice during that time (his first two fights).
It was a different world when Mir took up professional fighting in 2001, as the Japanese MMA scene was flourishing, and the UFC hadn’t wuite found it’s feet yet. Pride FC was where all the best talent was, and among those superstars, heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko shined the brightest.
For years fans pondered and salivated the prospect of Emelianenko testing his mettle against the UFC elite, but it never came to be. ‘The Last Emperor’ tested the American waters with a brief stint in Scott Coker’s Strikeforce, but went 1-3 after getting finished by Antonio Silva, Dan Henderson and current UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum. A few meaningless fights overseas preceded Emelianenko’s eventual retirement, albeit a temporary sit, as he returned on New Year’s eve last year to defeat the poorest calibre tomato can possible in Jaideep Singh.
Talking with MMAJunkie.com, Mir says that Fedor’s losses, especially to ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, showed how he would’ve got on in the UFC: