You can already feel the rumble of something heavy heading our way like a stampede; UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir and the rest of the all-heavyweights main card. Ten of the best heavyweight warriors in MMA will throw down the night of May 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The night’s dessert; a championship showdown between Junior Dos Santos and former champion, Frank Mir.
Dos Santos, a lovable character, a man praised not only by his outstanding skills inside the Octagon, but also by his humility and human quality. A product of a poor environment, Dos Santos made fighting an outlet growing up in Brazil. Today recognized as one of the best strikers the UFC heavyweight division has seen, “Cigano” now holds the heaviest belt of them all and Frank Mir is coming to get it.
A lot of people are pinning and air of vengeance on Dos Santos coming into this fight. Why? Simple, remember a man they call Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira? Well, happens that “Minotauro” is one of Dos Santos’ mentors in MMA and Frank Mir has taken him down twice. First, Mir became the first man ever to knockout the Brazilian powerhouse, and in a second time around, Mir managed to submit Nogueira and break his right arm.
Yes, we know the MMA blogosphere will be quick to create a grudge where it isn’t, but although “Cigano” denies that he is coming into this fight thinking of avenging Nogueira’s horrible losses to Frank Mir, Dos Santos is certainly starting to play into the whole “fight hype” situation.
In a recent interview with USA Today’s Sergio Non, Dos Santos expressed his opinion on how Frank Mir reacts when put in a tough spot in a fight, amongst other topics.
If we move forward in time a little bit from that interview to last Friday, UFC Primetime aired its first episode for UFC 146, and Dos Santos had some choice words about Frank Mir.
Only seconds before Dos Santos made that statement, Nogueira stated the following: “I don’t know why everybody worships this guy [Frank Mir]. His ground game is very simple. It’s only his attacks that are a little dangerous.” Funny coming from a man who got knocked out then sent to the hospital with his right arm broken in two at the hands of Frank Mir. Moving on.
Of course, Dos Santos concedes himself the most advantages in his match up against Mir, and one can’t even argue most of it. Dos Santos on paper looks like the faster of the two and his Boxing should be above that of Frank Mir’s.
Of course, MMA experts tip the balance in favor of Mir if the fight goes to the ground, but, we’ve never seen “Cigano” in that realm. Although Dos Santos is in fact a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, he is yet to be tested on the ground inside the Octagon. Yes, Gonzaga did take him down easily before getting destroyed by Dos Santos, but that takedown lasted probably less than a second.
Now, to address the comments about Mir not knowing how to get “through tough positions,” there are only a few issues with that statement. Remember how Frank Mir trampled Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut by submitting him with a very tight knee bar? Can you also remember how that fight started? Brock had an immediate takedown on Mir and had him bloodied up in a matter of seconds with lunchbox-hammer fists from hell. Top top it off, the fight had been halted because of blows to the back of the head of Mir.
Only seconds after the fight is reset, Mir shocks the world (or the ones banking on Brock Lesnar), by submitting him and putting an asterisk on whether Lesnar belonged in the Octagon in the first place.
Another moment that goes in exact contrast with Dos Santos’ statement is Mir vs. Nogueira 2. Correct me if I’m wrong, Nogueria was pummeling Mir with heavy right hands and elbows until Mir got rocked and went down. Inexplicably, Nogueira pursues Mir on the ground but instead of continuing the attack, goes for a choke, only to find himself reversed, controlled, and horribly submitted.
Go back to that beating Lesnar put on Mir the second time they met, anyone (or Tito Ortiz) would’ve tapped to strikes on the first round. But no, Frank Mir came back on the second round and if you watch closely, nearly knocks Lesnar out with a flying knee from the clinch. I’d say Mir toughed that one out and took his beating home like a champ.
And then of course, there is a matter of a Tim Sylvia and another broken arm. I think anyone would agree that lying on the ground with Tim Sylvia on your guard and looking to rain hands down on your head is a pretty tough spot. Yes, Frank Mir quickly walked away from that situation, taking Sylvia’s arm with him.
Those moments in MMA alone speak against Dos Santos’ remarks about Frank Mir. The MMA and UFC fans have seen different versions of Mir, before his motorcycle accident, after, and now. One thing we do know, Frank Mir always brings a fight, and will most likely bring home an arm from a fight too.
That being said, picking sides in this matchup is most difficult. Both, some of the fans’ favorite fighters, are two of the best talents in MMA history.
Now, tell me, how much do you agree or disagree with Dos Santos? Who do you have winning this fight and how? What are your picks for the rest of the card?
Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments.
Originally posted at The MMA Truth.