Former UFC Champ, Current Bellator Heavyweight Frank Mir Announces Co-Promotion Deal with ACB

Frank Mir Huh
Credit: TJ De Santis/

Current Bellator heavyweight, and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is getting in the promotion game alongside ACB, where he currently works as a color commentator.

Former UFC heavyweight champion and current Bellator fighter Frank Mir announced on Monday that he has entered a co-promotion deal with ACB for 2018, and moving forward. Mir, who has been out of action due to a USADA violation back in 2016, is expected to return to the cage this April as part of the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix 2018. He’ll face the legendary Fedor Emelianenko in Chicago as part of the tournament’s opening round. However, Mir has also been serving as a commentator for ACB (Absolute Championship Berkut) since October 2016, alongside play-by-play man Bryan Lacey.

Mir stated on Monday via social media that he was “very excited to announce I’ll be co-promoting events with this year and going forward!”

In a statement on ACB’s official Facebook page, the promotion stated the following:

Two-time heavyweight world champion and mixed martial arts legend Frank Mir is set to add the role of promoter to his already impressive MMA CV. Mir has reached the highest heights of the sport as a competitor and now feels the time is right to bring some of his passion, experience and expertise into the world of promoting, as he announced today his new role with the Russian based promotion, ACB. Mir has already established a strong working relationship with ACB as their lead colour commentator, with a plethora of knowledge about the organisation, their fighters and their shows.

When asked about how this all came about Mir said “I actually approached them. I know they are keen to break into the American market and I’m down for doing less travel so I asked if they were interested in coming to America, then I could be a contact in the US that could promote the events for them which they were very open to”. When asked if he would only promote shows in America, Mir replied “That was the idea when we started the conversation but as I put together a plan for America they talked to me about some places they would like managed and I thought there were other territories that I could work with and have contacts in that I could also do and improve on. So, from our initial agreement, I’ve now agreed to run shows in multiple territories for them, including (alongside America) the UK and Australia”.

On top of travelling the world commentating and now promoting fights and events for ACB, Mir also has a pretty big fight of his own to train and prepare for as he is set to take on fellow MMA legend, Fedor Emelianenko in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix on April 28th in Chicago. When asked how he intended to manage all these roles, especially when preparing for a fight Mir responded “Yeah, it’s a lot to manage but I’m not doing this on my own. For all these events I will be co-promoting them with Carl Prince and my ACB broadcast partner Bryan Lacey. Carl has promoted over 70 events across the UK and has matched all the UK ACB cards so far. He understands the ins and outs of running events and will be the point of contact for fighters and managers when building the cards for each territory… Bryan will be doing all the boring stuff! He’s one of those weirdly organised people so he’ll be making sure we get everything done properly so the events run smoothly. Together we have a good team and because of that I can keep my focus on my training for this fight while they get all the logistics together for our first events’.

With talk of first events, the big question is when and where will these events take place? ‘We’ve agreed dates and venues for a number of exciting arenas. We can’t announce anything just yet but keep your eyes on ACB’s social media pages and we’ll have some big news coming very soon!’

Mir, 38, spent nearly the entirety of his MMA career with the UFC. With a pro record of 18–11, he made his debut at UFC 34 in 2001, with a record of just 2-0 outside the company at the time. He would go on to win the UFC heavyweight championship against Tim Sylvia in 2004, but was later stripped of the title following a motorcycle accident. He picked up the interim heavyweight championship in 2008 against ‘Big Nog’ — only to lose to rival Brock Lesnar the following year at UFC 100 in a title unification bout.

Mir’s final fight for the UFC was a knockout loss to Mark Hunt in March 2016. His bout against Emelianenko in Bellator MMA will be his first since that date.