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Iowa wrestler Bella Mir becomes UFC's first NIL athlete

UFC has signed University of Iowa wrestler Bella Mir as its first-ever NIL athlete. Mir is the daughter of former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Closeup of a glove and the UFC logo at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The world's greatest fight organization has signed University of Iowa women's wrestler Bella Mir as its first-ever NIL ambassador, according to ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

Mir, 20, a freshman at Iowa, isn't the first Mir to join the UFC's ranks. Her father, Frank Mir, is a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and 16-year UFC veteran. 

Bella Mir was ranked sixth nationally at 144 pounds coming out of high school. She was a four-time Nevada state champion for Centennial High School. Mir also won the 2021 Junior Folkstyle National Championship.

"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. "I'm going to make sure I do my best to represent UFC and show the world what I'm all about." 

Mir has already obtained a 3-0 MMA record. Given Mir's goals and pedigree, it's almost certain that we'll see her following her father's footsteps into the UFC octagon after her career at Iowa.

"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," White said in a statement. "... 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."

Mir took second place as an unattached wrester at the inaugural Soldier Salute tournament in December. The University of Iowa women's wrestling team kicks off their inaugural season in the Fall of 2023. 

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