UFC signs Frankie Mir’s daughter, Bella, as its first ever NIL ambassador in a historic deal with the 20-year-old University of Iowa athlete vowing to ‘show the world what I’m all about’
The UFC has signed its first ever name, Image and likeness (NIL) ambassador, the promotion revealed on Friday.
Bella Mir, the daughter of former UFC heavyweight champion Frankie Mir, has signed the UFC’s first ever NIL deal.
Mir, 20, is a freshman at the University of Iowa and competes for the school’s women’s wrestling team but already has a 3-0 record as a professional MMA fighter.
The UFC has signed its first ever name, Image and likeness (NIL) ambassador, Bella Mir
‘I’m super grateful and I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to [UFC president] Dana [White] and UFC for giving me this opportunity,’ Bella Mir said in a statement, via ESPN.
‘I’m going to make sure I do my best to represent UFC and show the world what I’m all about.’
Mir was a four-time Nevada state high school wrestling champion, ranked sixth nationally at 144 pounds among high school wrestlers.
Mir is the daughter of Frankie Mir (left) who first won the UFC heavyweight title in 2004
In her most recent MMA fight, she beat Jessica Link by first-round armbar in June under the Xtreme Fight Night banner. In addition to MMA and wresting she also has won multiple Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments.
Although, NIL deals don’t guarantee that a college athlete will go on to fight for its promotion, given her already impressive record and achievements, plus her pedigree it is expected that Mir will end up competing under UFC.
‘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 in a statement.
UFC President Dana White said Mir is ‘destined to become a member’ of the promotion
‘[…] 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.’
NIL deals were only introduced by the NCAA in July 2021. Before that athletes were not allowed to make any money from other endeavors, such as social media posts or appearances, due to the NCAA’s previous strict policy about its members selling sponsorships.
This is the first time UFC has agreed an NIL deal but the contracts have been making headlines since being allowed in 2021 – most recently thanks to LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, former Florida QB recruit Jaden Rashada, and ‘Popeyes meme kid’ Dieunerst Collin.
NIL deals have been in the headlines, most recently thanks to LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne
Yet, it remains to be seen if the company will sign more college athletes to NIL deals.
However, WWE has already established an NIL deal program with more than 300 athletes contracted to the wrestling company over the past two years with Olympic wrestling gold medalist Gable Steveson its first in September 2021.
Mir’s father, Frankie, first won the UFC heavyweight title in 2004, owns a win over Brock Lesnar, was UFC interim heavyweight champion in 2008 and last fought for the UFC in 2019.