Openly Atheist fighter in the UFC

As some of you may already know, The Good Atheist isn’t the only blog I work on. I’m also pretty deep into the MMA scene, and Ryan and I have a reputation as being the “bad boys” of the mixed Martial Arts world through our site, (we also record 2 podcasts a week for that site as well, so if you love the sport, go check out the other podcast). I’m not sure what that means exactly, but we’re the guys who make fun of people for entertainment purposes. Apparently that’s still cutting edge.

One fighter who I’ve always given a hard time is Frank Mir. Frank is one of the cockiest fighters in the UFC, and after watching him on the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter”, I couldn’t help but root for his opponent the whole time (he came off looking like a huge dick the whole show).

Over the past year though, it’s been getting a lot harder to hate the guy, especially after he came out of the atheist closet and admitted to being a huge fan of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. This makes Frank the first openly atheist fighter in a major fight organization. Say what you will about his attitude; it takes fucking guts to say that shit. I hate to say it, but if he keeps doing this kind of thing, I’ll have no choice but call myself a fan. I feel weird saying that…

(props to James, who is a big fan of both sites for some reason)

Comments (20)

  • avatar


    Actually, that title would go to Mac Danzig – he refused to read the Bible Hughes gave him during TUF & made fun of Rampage for thinking he was god. I guess Mir is the first openly-atheist fighter who doesn’t suck, though. (Yes, I’m a jackal, too)

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    I know almost nothing about these sports, but I did see this the other day which was quite funny, don’t know if you guys have seen it before:

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    Scott: if i remember correctly from interviews, Danzig considers himself a Buddhist.

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    Zombie Jesus

    Buddhism isn’t really much of a religion and more of a lifestyle. It usually depends on whether you deify Buddha, which according to the principals of the “religion” you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. The reason why Danzig probably didn’t want to read the Bible was because he doesn’t enjoy deities. They seem to get in the way of everyone’s enlightenment.

    And come on, Jeff Monson MUST be an atheist.

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    I’m curious if anyone has ever compiled a list of atheist athletes in other sports. I’d love to know how they get along with their overly zealous Christian and Muslim teammates?

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    Good point about Danzig being Buddhist – that’s sorta atheist since there’s no real “god” in charge , but it’s not out-and-out materialism, which is why it’s hazy. I do remember someone on Serra’s team saying he was an atheist that same episode, but I forget, because no one cares about TUF scrubs.

    The most famous agnostic athlete is Lance Armstrong.

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    yeah, I was beaten to the punch but Mayham Miller outed himself as an atheist way before Mir.

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    Dana White, president of the UFC, is apparently an atheist. So there u go, the head guy of the UFC being atheist shuld make it easier for other UFC fighters to say they’re atheist if so

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    Atheist are morons with NO belief in anything they just do whatever they want and think they are the best ever. Burn in hell.

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    There are a lot of atheists in sports and I bet the UFC has more than the average amount. Not only Dana White, but also Joe Rogan is openly atheist… two of the biggest non-athlete faces of the UFC.

    And lol at the troll above… look how hateful religion will make you.

  • avatar


    Why is belief good? Belief is when you take something without evidence. Atheists want evidence…that is why there are less of them in prison etc than CHristians. Atheists look at the consequences of their actions and act accordingly.

    Theists on the other hand can do whatever they want, tell their god that they love and accept him and all is forgiven….there is no morality in christianity.

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    So you like a fighter because of his beliefs (or lack thereof?) Isn’t that why atheists hate tebow fans? Look your hypocrisy is showing.

    P.S. Dawkins is probably the biggest asshole in the world.

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    sorry i dont mean to make this into a huge controversy, but you dont need much evidence. the only evidence you need is to look all around you and see everything must have been created since everything is so perfectly designed. the only way for that to happen is if there is a designer. plus you should have to sense to realize that it is absolutely impossible for life to come from non life. nuff said

  • avatar


    Uh, there are tons of Atheist fighters in the UFC. Almost half of the top 20. If you watch interviews or have taken in the scene down in vegas (which is a mecca in mma) there is no question. To me, this whole “closet” thing is a bit forced. The truth is that no one really has to say what they are in order for you to get the point. Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are two of the best fighters in MMA and both have tastefully expressed religious inclinations (yes even Chael can express tact). However, so has Nick Diaz and Forrest Griffin in their non-religious orientation.

    I guess my point is that if you have to say you read Dawkin’s in order to illustrate your Atheist position or feelings than its possible you’re trying too hard. Dawkin’s is far from what I’d call a good or positive example of an Atheist. Say what you want about the logic or content of his rhetoric, Richard Dawkins has built a successful entertainment career off of Atheism. Comparing religious figures that people hold dear to cartoon caricatures is not what many Atheists should consider a sincere and empirical dedication to rational, scientific discussion.

    Honestly, It’d be like saying you read Jesse Jackson and agree with the civil rights movement. Sure, the guy is a well known figure in the black civil rights scene and he has a point about the plight of the black man in America. Unfortunately, just like Dawkins, he’s the kind of blow hard and troll that you can’t help but roll your eyes and grimace at whenever you hear him open his stupid mouth.

    As MMA goes, you should like Frank Mir. A lot of people like Frank Mir. I like Frank Mir. He is absolutely one of the more clever and gifted fighters in MMA. That said, I really can’t imagine why he’d make some elaborate confession to being an Atheist but if he did, who cares? I really find it quite dubious being a multi-millionaire, professional athlete while claiming an affiliation to a quasi-marginalized group in western society. Increasing your profit margin by appealing to the sensitivity of a particular group is too appetizing a venture for the modern celebrity too solicit when entertainment dollars are measured in Facebook likes and twitter followers.

    I’m not saying you can’t be proud of who you are but advertising cheapens it.

  • avatar


    one thing. and in spanish,

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    the link at “he comes out of the atheist closet ” is broken and doesn’t work

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    I never really understood the idea that Dawkins is a jerk of some sort. He’s never seemed shrill or dickish to me at all. So many people say it, there is definitely the opinion out there, but I wonder if it’s not hatred of his opinion more than his person. For instance, I think Bendo has the stupidest beliefs imaginable. I don’t respect his beliefs at all. But that doesn’t mean I disrespect him as a person, necessarily. He may be a good guy. He seems conceited at first glance, but I’ve never met the man, so I could be wrong about it. I don’t want to be preached to, so I rarely listen to him.

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    Most UFC fighters are Christians like it or not…

    Antonio Silva, Anderson Silva, Chris Wiedman, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, Georges St Pierre, Chael Sonnen, Brock lesnar….etc.

    Should we brag about it and love them for what they believe or their fighting skills?
    As for Frank, he is one of the worst fighters in his division.

    If you watched the way he fought Lesnar, Carwin and Dos Santos, you would know he is a nobody.

  • avatar

    Frank Mir

    He has mentioned in the past that he thinks that religion is the retarded stepchild of philosophy.

  • avatar


    If Frank Mir is a ‘nobody’ then I guess Cain Velasquez is, too, since they both have the credentials of having been UFC Heavyweight Champions. And all you have to do is watch him break Nogiera’s arm if you want to see what a fairly recent flash of what he used to be capable of. He’s simply one of the older fighters on the roster, and he’s in the twilight of his career. Of course he could still beat Roy Nelson any day of the week…

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