A lot of people have approached me about this particular finish, because I have taught a very similar technical series in both seminars and at my gym, Revolution BJJ. The technique Frank Mir used is very similar to what I have shown at a series of three seminars I’ve taught on the Kimura both as a grip and a submission.
Now, before we go any further, if you haven’t seen the fight itself, check out Stephen Kesting and Ritchie Yip’s breakdown of the fight, shown below (even if you saw the fight, this is a really interesting breakdown of all the key points in the fight):
Now, a lot of people asked me if the technique Mir hit was the “Big Bird,” which is a straight armlock finish from the Kimura when the guy has your back. This was different, although you can get to this position when setting up the Big Bird.
Mir’s movement much more closely mimics “catching the trail arm”, which I have shown several times in my second Kimura seminar series. Mir then floats (reference: “floating pass”) back to the other side of Nogueira’s body, where he looks to finish the old-school Kimura (stepping over the head to finish by switching his hips, notably different from the north-south finish).
One other notable difference: in the fight itself, Mir bases on his neck and shoulders, but in the video, Kesting does not.
For those who asked me, I hope this satisfies your curiosity.