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Frank Mir's Jiu-Jitsu... is still overrated

Introduction: No, this is not a fighter-bashing attempt to discredit Frank Mir as a world class heavy weight or attack his legacy or character as a legend in this sport. This is simply an objective analysis of his ground game.


Frank Mir

At this point, Frank Mir has made his mark as possibly the most dangerous submission artist in the sport.

His resume speaks for itself; a devastating kimura over the legendary Rodrigo Nogueira, a guillotine choke that
deprived Cheick Kongo of consciousness, a beautiful kneebar over Brock Lesnar, a devastating arm bar that broke the
arm of Tim Sylvia, a Hoodini type arm lock on Pete Williams.

Since his 2001 MMA debut, Frank Mir has been awing audiences with his breath taking submission skills.

His Jiu-Jitsu is a dangerous blend of devastating power and marvelous technique.

Frank Mir



Frank Mir



Frank Mir



Frank Mir



Frank Mir




So how dare I, a 20-year old grappling enthusiast with nothing but 6 years of training have the audacity to criticize one
of the most dangerous BJJ black belts in the sport?

First of all, I understand that Frank Mir, and even the opponents he submitted, would effortlessly destroy me in a
grappling match.

I am not being facetious here, I recognize his talent and the level of skill it takes to perform at the level that he does.

But at the same time, what he only has seconds to conceptualize and execute, I have weeks and months to observe
and analyze- so I believe this gives me leeway to scrutinize him as a grappler.
The biggest misconception about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it's all about submissions.

If this was true, Frank Mir would undoubtedly be the greatest practitioner of it in the heavyweight division.... but it isn't.

What people forget is that the martial art is much more complex and has components of it that go far beyond the submission game, these include, but are not limited to:

1) Positioning

2) Defense

3) Sweeps

That means a true, elite, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt not only focuses on submission expertise, but also executing his
proficiency in proper wrist control, hip positioning and movement, and especially important in MMA, ground striking
defense.


Frank Mir is surprisingly weak in all these areas, which means there's a great imbalance between the different facets of his Jiu-Jitsu profile.

To rate a BJJ black belt purely on the effectiveness of his submission game is ignorant. To do so is comparable to
judging a boxer's skills by his knock out percentage and not giving enough focus to his foot work, combinations, head
movement and defense.

To say Frank Mir is a better grappler than Werdum per example, is comparable to saying Liddell is a better boxer than the Diaz brothers.

Sure he may have more knock outs on his record, but the Diaz bros. are far more technical and less prone to being on
the receiving end of a loss in a stand up battle.


A true Jiu-Jitsu master understands how to keep himself safe on the ground, avoiding (T)KO losses.

Fabricio Werdum, Demian Maia, Jacare Souza and Benson Henderson are all great at this.

With proper wrist control and positioning, they avoid being ground and pounded in disadvantageous bottom positions.

Frank Mir on the other hand has been a victim of 3 (T)KO losses on the ground. I will not mention the other 3 which were preceded by him being rocked in the stand-up/clinch.


1st (T)KO loss: Ian Freeman rocks Mir in his guard, transitions to side control en route to a ground and pound victory.



2nd (T)KO loss: Marcio Cruz takes Frank Mir down and (T)KO's him in his half-guard.

Frank Mir



3rd (T)KO loss: Brock Lesnar punches Frank Mir to a stoppage in his half-guard.

Frank Mir




This is not acceptable for a BJJ practitioner of his reputation.

The caliber of a fighter's Jiu-Jitsu is not merely measured by his submission offensiveness and defensiveness, but also by his ability to

1) Keep himself safe on the ground (+this includes strikes)
-Stifle your opponent's offensiveness with effective wrist control and proper guard positioning so that he has little
movement to generate strong punches with

2) Keep his opponents stagnant
-Prevent your opponent from transitioning

3) Be dangerous from all positions
-This includes half guard


Frank Mir has shown to have a very vulnerable half-guard, has yet to perform a single sweep in his career and has very poor ground defense.

He is not the model for world-class Jiu-Jitsu for the sole fact that he is not a complete grappler.

These are the true ambassadors of BJJ in MMA:

He is not the model for world-class Jiu-Jitsu for the sole fact that he is not a complete grappler.

These are the true ambassadors of BJJ in MMA:

Frank Mir



Frank Mir



*Fabricio Werdum: Never gets KO'd in a ground battle despite constantly finding himself in bottom positions. His chin
isn't iron by the way (knocked out by a JDS uppercut, although I understand how powerful a JDS uppercut is). Great
sweeps. Great half-guard. Very dangerous BJJ black yet very safe.

*Demian Maia: Methodical. Cuts through his opponents guards like butter. Always keeps his opponents stationed on the ground.

Another example of an overrated Jiu-Jitsu artist is Rousimar Palhares.

I understand how successful he is in grappling tournaments but his striking defense is equally as bad as Mir's.

He belongs in the same category of flash-submission fighters.

Very prone to getting (T)KO'd on the ground because of poor defense.


Conclusion: Do not grade a fighters Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu simply on their submission record in MMA. Scrutinize their
ground battles. BJJ is more than submissions, a (T)KO loss on the ground also reflects badly on the expertise of a
competitor's BJJ in MMA.

*By the way

Cain Velasquez stifled Brock Lesnar's top control with a simple butterfly guard.

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