Mir was the first man to knock out and submit dos Santos’ mentor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, adding a revenge angle to the proceedings. Then there is the lack of respect Mir has received since being named the main-event replacement for Overeem; if the former heavyweight king is not at least a little bit motivated by all the doubters, then he is not human. At any rate, it figures to be a good test of dos Santos’ restraint, because an over exuberant pursuit of the finish against an accomplished grappler like Mir could spell doom for the Brazilian.
After more than a little reshuffling, the rest of the all-heavyweight main card managed to survive Overeem’s transgressions. Those with short attention spans take note: the odds of this being a long, drawn out pay-per-view are slim and none.
Here is a closer look at UFC 146 “Dos Santos vs. Mir,” with analysis and picks:Sherdog Fantasy MMA: UFC 146 "Dos Santos vs. Mir" Free Fan Pick’Em
The Matchup: On paper, this appears to be a stylistic nightmare for Mir, who has shown a tendency to get rocked by the division’s heavy hitters during his UFC career. In terms of knockout proficiency, dos Santos is about as good as it gets at heavyweight; only Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have managed to go the distance with the heavy-handed Brazilian, and they both absorbed plenty of punishment for their efforts. Most recently, the durable Cain Velasquez fell victim to a brutal overhand right and follow-up punches from dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1 in November, relinquishing his belt in just 64 seconds.
As daunting as it may be to face an opponent who has stopped 11 of his 14 victims inside of a round, Mir has a wealth of big-fight experience upon which to draw. Long before “Cigano” was crushing foes in the Octagon with his lead uppercut, Mir was submitting Tim Sylvia to capture the heavyweight championship at UFC 48. The sport has evolved quite a bit since 2004, but Mir’s one significant advantage in this fight remains the same: his submission game.
Mir earned another UFC title shot in
brutal fashion against Nogueira.
Dos Santos has quick hands and understands how to use angles to evade the strikes of his opposition. He is fluid and mobile on the outside, judiciously using his jab until the right moment arrives to collapse the pocket. When the time comes, both his uppercut and counter left hook are game-changers. Mir’s standup has improved over the years, but he is nowhere near “Cigano’s” league in the striking department.
Mir will have to be creative in figuring out ways to close the distance against dos Santos, using well-timed combinations to set up takedowns. In eight Octagon appearances, only Carwin and Gabriel Gonzaga have been able to get the Team Nogueira pupil to the ground, and both did so with minimal results. Still, it is worth the risk, if only to attempt to make the champion uncomfortable. Mir can also attempt to drain dos Santos’ cardio in tie-ups, as long as he is active from this position. Resting against the fence will only result in Mir eating knees and uppercuts from the Brazilian. Instead, Mir should look to work for an outside trip, where he can attempt to implement his vaunted ground game.
A more plausible scenario has Mir getting dropped and dos Santos following into guard. It is as good a chance for an upset as Mir has, because his guard is excellent and he has an ability to capitalize on the smallest of openings. If dos Santos dives in carelessly to finish the fight, Mir will have his moment.
The Pick: Dos Santos learned from watching his mentor succumb to the resourceful Mir, so do not expect a breakdown in strategy from the champion. “Cigano” will pick apart Mir on the outside early, stuff takedowns and eventually land the power shots for which he is known. There will be no temporary lapse in judgment, as dos Santos finishes the fight with strikes in round two.
Next Fight » Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silvaview original article >>
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier made it clear: He calls the shots when it comes to the belt, and he demands Jon Jones skip a tune-up fight and face him upon his return.Filed under: Feat read news >>
The upsets continue on The Ultimate Fighter 25 as Team Dillashaw’s sixth pick, Tom Gallicchio, tapped out Team Garbrandt’s third pick, Eddie Gordon. read news >>
It appears UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will fit a title defense into his busy schedule.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Recent UFC headliner Cub Swanson broke a hand.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>
Stream or download Wednesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with “Big” John McCarthy.Filed under: News, Radio, UFC read news >>
Edmonton will soon become the 10th Canadian city to host a UFC event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
With Twitter's announced move to 24/7 live video, could the popular social media platform become a destination for live UFC fights? read news >>
LAS VEGAS – WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is heading to the UFC, according to his now-former employers.Filed under: News, WSOF read news >>
UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is tired of waiting around for Jon Jones. He's laid down an ultimatum, it's now or never. read news >>
UFC announced on Thursday that it would hold its first event in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in September. read news >>