For the first time in nearly two decades, Frank Mir will fight someone other than the UFC Octagon.
The former heavyweight champion has agreed to terms on a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA with Mir’s debut expected to take place in 2018.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. Bellator MMA officials are expected to announce the news in the coming weeks.
Mir (18-11) has been a stalwart of the UFC’s heavyweight division since first debuting back in 2001 while also becoming a two-time champion during his numerous years with the promotion.
Most recently, Mir asked for his release from the UFC after he tested positive for oral turinabol metabolites following his last bout against Mark Hunt in March 2016. Following the positive test, Mir was suspended for two years by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency), who oversee the UFC’s anti-doping program.
Mir will be eligible to return to action in April 2018 after his suspension is lifted.
Now Mir will join a growing Bellator MMA heavyweight roster that also includes fellow UFC veterans Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione.