Considered by many to be the most prestigious title in mixed martial arts, the UFC Heavyweight Championship currently rests in the hands of two men, champion Brock Lesnar and interim belt holder Frank Mir. On Saturday, May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Lesnar and Mir will meet not only to determine the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, but to settle some personal business that developed in Las Vegas more than a year ago.
“Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir put on one of the most intense one-round fights I’ve ever seen at UFC 81,” said UFC President Dana White, referring to Mir’s submission victory over Lesnar in February 2008. “But when it was over, both guys saw things very differently. Lesnar blamed his loss on inexperience and being too aggressive, while Mir saw his win as a triumph of his technique, something he says will happen every time they fight. On May 23, each fighter has the chance to prove his point, and while a lot has happened for these two since that first fight, I know the rematch is going to be just as intense as the first one, especially considering that the winner walks away as the UFC Heavyweight Champion.”
A gifted athlete with the size, speed and power to impose his will on any opponent, Brock Lesnar (3-1) stands 6 feet 3 ½ inches and weighs 265 pounds. He made an immediate impact in the UFC with his debut fight in February 2008. A four-time All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion and 2000 NCAA Division I National Champion in wrestling, Lesnar made a name for himself internationally after college as a professional wrestler, but soon found his calling in mixed martial arts in 2006. After a 69-second win in his professional debut one year later, Lesnar entered the UFC in 2008. He was seconds away from victory against former heavyweight champion Mir, before a stoppage in the action for a point deduction allowed Mir to come back and submit the newcomer moments afterwards. In August 2008, at UFC 87, Lesnar once again showed why he was a force to be reckoned with by dominating Heath Herring. He went on to shock the world on November 15 with a TKO against one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Randy “The Natural” Couture. Now firmly entrenched on top of the heavyweight division, Lesnar wants to even the score with Mir.
Lesnar said, “I’m delighted to have a rematch against Frank Mir. I can’t wait to get my revenge and finish this fight on the ground the way it should have been finished last time.”
Many believe that 29-year-old Las Vegas resident Frank Mir (12-3) was destined for stardom the moment he stepped in the UFC Octagon. He lived up to those expectations when he submitted Tim Sylvia in 50 seconds in 2004 to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, Mir’s career came to a halt later that year when a serious motorcycle accident forced him to the sidelines for almost two years. His eagerness to return forced him into some unsuccessful performances when he stepped back into the Octagon in 2006, but at UFC 74 in August 2007, Mir was back in top-notch form when he submitted Antoni Hardonk in 77 seconds. He followed that pivotal win with a come-from-behind victory over Lesnar at UFC 81 in February 2008. But it wasn’t until UFC 92 on December 27, 2008 that Mir was completely back, when he became the first man to stop the legendary Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira en route to regaining the championship he never lost in the Octagon. On May 23, the 6-foot-3 inch, 240-pound Mir will have the opportunity to once again reign as the undisputed title holder.
Mir said, “Brock Lesnar has been calling for a rematch with me ever since I beat him the first time. All I can say to Brock is be careful what you wish for because I’m a better, smarter, stronger, and faster fighter than I was the last time. He won’t be able to push me around like he’s done smaller opponents, and I’m looking forward to becoming undisputed champion again.”
Tickets for UFC 98: LESNAR VS. MIR 2 priced at $800, $600, $400, $250, $125 and $75, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to 10 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.ufc.com, www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, March 5 at 10 a.m. PST via the website www.ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, March 6 starting at 10 a.m. PST. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter at www.ufc.com.
UFC 98: LESNAR VS. MIR 2 will be available live on pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).