Frank Mir shattering the shoulder of Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is arguably the most memorable moment of Mir’s Hall of Fame career, but it is not one he relishes in.
Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, snatched “Big Nog” in a tight kimura early in round one of their Dec. 2011 fight. An insane exchange of flips and rolls ensued until Mir managed to bunker down in top side control. Nogueira refused to tap and Mir snapped his shoulder. Mir celebrated, Nogueira laid in agony and Matt Mitrione freaked out. Mir reflected on the graphic and gruesome technical submission win over Big Nog at UFC 140.
“At that moment I’m like, ‘S—t, he’s not going to tap.’ And that was just an instant sensation that I had. So I knew that I had to put enough pressure to where the referee would jump in and get involved. I knew that if I kept twisting, that they’re not going to let me completely destroy his arm. The referee will jump in, it was Herb [Dean], and stop the fight, kind of like a TKO-type situation,” he told the MMA TRUFAN podcast during their audio biography of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira episode. “I have a guy who is not going to quit but I’ll just keep hitting him until the referee comes in.
“And so when I started applying pressure, that’s why you actually see me look up at Herb. I’m just waiting because I’m not even really waiting for Nogueira to tap. In my mind, I knew that was never going to happen. So I’m just trying to look up at Herb so that as soon as he says ‘Done!’ I’m going to let go. I’ve never been a fan of people that hold onto things. I think that’s cheap and that’s dirty. It has no place in our sport.”
Mir was thrilled to have his arm raised, but he took no pleasure in what he did to the Brazilian legend.
“I’m looking up at [Herb], the arm let loose and it obviously snapped, and it actually disturbed me to break his arm. If you watch the fight again. You can see as I’m doing the interview, I kind of look over my shoulder at him because I’m looking at him on the ground,” Mir explained. “It’s because it’s somebody I’ve admired and someone I’ve looked up to and studied. How I do certain moves are because of him. That was a weird place to be. It was almost akin to beating up your big brother.”
Mir went on to challenge Junior dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title in a losing effort.
The podcast episode also includes interviews from Josh Barnett, Bill Goldberg, Heath Herring and, of course, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira among many others all focusing on the career of the Brazilian MMA legend. So check the whole thing out.