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Frank Mir gets pro wrestling debut at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport | Trendsmedia.

The former UFC champion is taking his talents to the squared circle on a show designed to recreate the feel and atmosphere of the classic kumite martial arts movie.

As sports-entertainment products the crossover between mixed martial arts and pro wrestling has been persistent. Even before MMA had a real system of rules or recognition as a sport unto itself wrestlers have been a a fixture in mixed-style fights over the last century. In the early 90s, as MMA codified and structured itself into something resembling its modern iteration, fighters like Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki and many more made names for themselves in both arenas.

One of Japan’s longest running MMA promotions, Pancrase, was as notable for its pro wrestling style works as it was its competitive bouts during its early years of development.

It only makes sense then that, even as MMA has separated itself from some of its firmer relationships with its stuntman-soap-opera counterpart, there’s still a lot of room for crossover between the two. Brock Lesnar became a star for the UFC only after firmly establishing himself with the WWE. And notables like CM Punk, Dave Bautista, and Bobby Lashley have entered the cage with varying degrees of dedication and success.

In the other direction, Matt Riddle and Ronda Rousey have carved out places for themselves in the WWE after their UFC careers. There’s even talk that Cain Velasquez and Paige VanZant might give it a go once their time in MMA is done.

One of the most notable fighters to keep up a pro wrestling career alongside his time in MMA has been former UFC champion Josh Barnett. The ‘Warmaster’ got his start in wrestling back in 2003 with New Japan Pro Wrestling and has featured regularly with various promotions in the years since.

At the moment he’s the featured attraction for Game Changer Wrestling’s ‘Bloodsport’ event. But, it looks like he won’t be the only former UFC title holder on the card. In a post on Twitter Barnett announced that Frank Mir would be making his pro wrestling debut at the event. No opponent has been named.

As MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer describes it:

“Bloodsport is a staged but very stiff and more realistic-looking version of pro wrestling, held on elevated mats but with no ropes, based on the fighting surface in the 1988 martial arts movie “Bloodsport.” The style itself was somewhat based on the old UWFI pro wrestling promotion that was popular in Japan in the early 90s, which Barnett was a huge fan of growing up. The style is based on hard strikes and submissions, and without playing to the crowd or using moves that don’t work in a real fight, like most versions of pro wrestling.

“It’s more of a dramatic form of simulated fighting than the audience-participation art form of pro wrestling.”

Mir is coming off a 2nd round TKO loss to Javy Ayala back in December of 2018. In the fight Ayala broke a section of Mir’s jaw, causing him to submit to strikes. The loss marked the fourth straight for Mir in MMA, bringing him to a record of just 2-8 in the last seven years — stretching back to his failed bid to regain the UFC heavyweight championship against Junior dos Santos. Mir was released from the UFC in 2017, in the midst of a two-year suspension for a failed drug test. He debuted with Bellator in April of last year, against Fedor Emelianenko, losing via first round TKO.

Credit to BloodyElbow

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