ATLANTA – Frank Mir hasn’t turned his back on MMA now that he’s set to enter his first professional boxing match.
Mir, a former UFC champion, is set to make his in-ring debut Saturday when he meets Steve Cunningham under the Triller Fight Club banner. The heavyweight fight airs on pay-per-view at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Depending on how the fight goes, Mir’s venture into traditional boxing could be one and done. He is signed to Bare Knuckle FC and said he will compete in that organization likely this year, but afterward still has designs on fighting MMA. The motivation is Mir’s daughter, Bella Mir, who’s gotten off to a strong start to her own MMA career, and it’s her father’s wish to eventually fight alongside her.
“I’m not done with MMA,” Mir told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “Actually before I retire, my dream is to fight on the same card with my daughter. She’s 2-0 now as a pro. She just won nationals. Her wrestling has kind of taken the front seat right now, but as soon as she has a break from that for a little bit, but before I go – luckily I’m a young father and she’s going to be 18 here soon – it looks good in the next three, four years she’ll be fighting in her early 20s and be a champion, and I’ll open for her.”
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Mir said he’s been taken aback by his daughter’s early career success. She won her debut by unanimous decision in October then turned around six weeks later and picked up a first-round submission. She’s currently taking a break to focus on wrestling but will be back soon.
The traction Bella has gained so early on has Mir unsurprisingly enthusiastic.
“She had one of the highest debuts of any MMA fighter I’ve ever seen, especially not coming from any other background,” Mir said. “Brock Lesnar obviously had a huge one, CM Punk, but they were already superstars in the MMA world. But as far as someone who wasn’t an actor or a pro wrestler or somebody coming over from any entertainment world, her debut, it was very strong. It was a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t believe the popularity. At first it made me nervous, the attention she was getting, because I was like, ‘Wow, this a lot to ask somebody to overtake.’ Her mind is extremely solid and martial arts has done well for her.”
Mir doesn’t know when and where the stars will align for him to fight on the same night as his daughter. Father and son Antonio and A.J. McKee have done something similar under the Bellator banner, and both won their fights. Before all is said and done, Mir wants to put his family name in the history books.
“That would probably be it (for my MMA career),” Mir said. “I don’t know if specifically that would be the last fight, but definitely before I retire that’s on the bucket list.”