clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Frank Mir requests his release from the UFC

Esther Lin photo

Former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir is the longest-tenured fighter on the company roster. The 37-year-old Las Vegas native has competed for Zuffa since UFC 34 in 2001.

But now Mir is requesting that his time with the company come to an end. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Mir announced he is asking the UFC release him from his contract.

"As of now I'm under suspension, as of April 2018 I'll be eligible to fight again the UFC, and even more, as troubling as that is, they have it to where I can't do any broadcasting," Mir said. "Not that I was ever going to get it in there, just because I've been asking for several years since the WEC since put this in the rotation, right now I'd like to be released by the UFC so I can continue my career in other avenues."

Mir tested positive for oral turinabol metabolites in a USADA-administered test after his loss to Mark Hunt on April 7 in Brisbane, Australia. He continues to maintain his innocence in the situation, but has decided to forego an appeal due to the costs involved.

"I didn't see any advantage or course of action that would have been conclusive or really had any percentages on my side where I could win," Mir said. It's starting to look very expensive to fight, and if at the end of it I'm still suspended and I'm not allowed to fight or broadcast, I have to start to think about my savings as I'm trying to raise children, I made a decision to forego trying to battle it anymore."

Mir was a studio analyst for FOX's UFC broadcast up until the test failure was announced, and has not been back since. He was also an acclaimed color commentator for WEC broadcasts on Versus, and would like to pursue opportunities outside the UFC, which is why he's requesting his release.

"After I realized three weeks ago the situation in its entirety, and looked at my savings account and what my kids cost to raise, I realized I have to go make a living," Mir said. "Being tied up not able to fight and not able to do any analytical works. .. I know they're very busy, there's a lot on their plate, so I'm trying as patiently as a person can be find time to get in front of them and discuss the issue."

Mir holds several UFC records, including most heavyweight wins (16), most finishes in the heavyweight division (13), most heavyweight submissions (8) and most first-round finishes in any weight class (10). He has a 16-11 record in the company, which includes a UFC heavyweight title reign in 2004-05 and an interim title reign in 2008-09.

The former champ doesn't take any joy out of his request to part ways with the company. Mir, who recently became the first UFC fighter inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, had one of the most memorable roller coaster rides in the history of the sport. Mir says he will always regret that this is how it will apparently end, but he needs to move on to his next chapter.

"It will absolutely bother me," Mir said. "I don't want to lie and be like 'oh, I'll get past this.' It will be one of those things that I'll be very sad about how this is how I spent 15 years of my life in the UFC, and this is how it ended. It's not a happy note to end on. It will be one of those things that I'll chalk up as a regret until the day they put me in the ground. I just have to move on and try to continue with other aspects of my life."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting