MMA prospect Bella Mir has signed with the UFC becoming the promotion’s first NIL ambassador.
The combat sports juggernaut signed Mir, the daughter of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, to a name, image, likeness deal. ESPN first reported news of the signing. Mir is currently attending the University of Iowa and is a member of the school’s women’s wrestling team.
“I’m super grateful and I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to Dana (White) and UFC for giving me this opportunity,” Mir said in a statement. “I’m going to make sure I do my best to represent UFC and show the world what I’m all about.”
On July 1, 2021, the NCAA enacted the name. image, and likeness (NIL) policy. Under the legislation, student-athletes are eligible to enter into any endorsement deal pertaining to their name, image, and likeness they see fit; allowing college students in all states to receive financial compensation for their NIL. The deal is the first of its kind for the UFC, though other sports-adjacent organizations like the WWE have been signing college athletes to NIL deals for some time. The most notable being Olympic gold medalist Gable Stevenson who signed with the professional wrestling promotion just two months after the NCAA’s decree.
Is Bella Mir the Next Big Thing in MMA?
While Bella Mir is currently focused on her education and competing for the University of Iowa, the 20-year-old prospect has already shown signs of greatness in combat sports. Mir is currently 3-0 in her MMA career with back-to-back submission victories in her last two outings. Debuting under the iKON FF banner when she was 17, Mir earned a unanimous decision over Danielle Wynn. She followed that up with a first-round submission over Alma Cespedes less than two months later.
Mir took an 18-month break from competition following her second win but returned under the Xtreme Fight Night label in June. She earned her third straight win by submitting Jessica Link in the opening round.
“Bella was destined to become a member of the UFC family her entire life, and I’m proud that she’s making history as our first NIL ambassador in one of the best programs at the University of Iowa,” said UFC president Dana White. “She’s a four-time state high school wrestling champion who has won jiu-jitsu tournaments and three professional MMA fights before turning 19. Bella is an incredible role model for young women who are not only looking to get into sports, but also pursue their dreams. She’s on another level, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Her father Frank Mir is a UFC legend who holds notable wins over Tim Sylvia, Brock Lesnar, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Cheick Kongo, Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson, and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. He captured UFC gold in 2004 and was a one-time UFC interim heavyweight champion.