Nearly 12 years ago, Las Vegas-born submission specialist Frank Mir made his first appearance for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Today's mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, specifically those latching on to the runaway success of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show back in 2005, know Mir for several notable accomplishments inside the cage.
In addition to handing World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Brock Lesnar his debut loss back in 2008, Mir was the first man to ever stop Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by way of strikes. Nearly three years later, in his "Minotauro" rematch, he then became the first man to ever submit the PRIDE FC legend, as well.
And "submit" would be an understatement.
The muscular Mir snapped the Brazilian's arm like he was "crunching a bag of potato chips," he would later recall. Nogueira was left lying on the canvas, unable to move, and would face a long and painful rehabilitation process to get himself back into fighting shape.
Just another day at the office for Mir.
Before his destruction of "Big Nog," the "Sin City" native had established himself as one of the most feared grapplers in the heavyweight division, thanks to a brutal first-round finish over Tim Sylvia in their championship bout at UFC 48: "Payback" from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 14, 2004.
Here's how it all went down.
A touch of gloves gets the action started and Mir's outside leg kick is answered with a straight right from Sylvia. Frank uses the lanky limb to secure the clinch and they wrestle for position before stumbling into the side of the cage. Tim with a hard knee and they break away.
Mir slaps a kick into his foe and retreats.
Sylvia tracks him down and Mir kicks again. This time, "The Maine-iac" latches onto his opponent and drives him into the canvas with a hard takedown, right in front of the fence. "This is where Frank Mir wants to be," observes cageside color commentator Joe Rogan. "This is his spot."
Mir snatches an arm and wall walks to sneak his leg around Sylvia's head to lock in the submission.
With hips arched and all his might tugging on the New England striker's arm, Sylvia tries to posture up and power out of Mir's submission, applying more negative force then his forearm will allow. Seconds later, it folds over like a flimsy lawn chair and referee Herb Dean is forced to intervene.
In fact, he's forced to scream "STOP!" a total of seven times before either fighter reacts.
The boo birds -- unaware of what just transpired -- erupt in a chorus of "BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!" until the big screen replay shows the bone-crunching finale, even as the bewildered victim denies his injury.
"We'll fight again," Mir says in consolation. "We'll fight right now," Sylvia retorts.
After some initial confusion, which included a visit from the cageside physician as well as multiple replays, the decision is read and Frank Mir is crowned new UFC heavyweight kingpin by way of technical submission.
Mir would eventually be stripped of the title after shattering his leg in a motorcycle accident and did not return to the Octagon until UFC 57 nearly two years later, a technical knockout loss to Mauricio "Pe de Pano" Cruz.
Since then, the former champion has kept himself "in the mix" with an 8-4 record and will next face Strikeforce import Daniel Cormier at the UFC on FOX 7 event this Saturday night (April 20, 2013) from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
A place, Mir warns, where history could repeat itself.