Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos, will defend his title for the first time when he faces Frank Mir at UFC 146. Dos Santos was originally scheduled to face Alistair Overeem at UFC 146, but the results of a surprise drug test led to the former Strikeforce champion being removed from the fight card.
Overeem’s problems ended up being a blessing for Mir, as he will now have the opportunity to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC when he faces dos Santos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 26.
Dos Santos captured the heavyweight title in impressive fashion, knocking out Cain Velasquez 64 seconds into the UFC’s first live fight on Fox.
Even though Dos Santos will be the favorite going into their UFC 146 encounter, I won’t completely count out Mir, considering the fact he’ll have a considerable advantage on the ground. Mir broke Junior’s mentors arm (Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira) in his last fight, and he just might do the same to the champion if he’s able to get the fight to the ground.
Unfortunately for Mir, he’ll have his work cut out for him, given the fact dos Santos is the better wrestler between the two. Even if Mir manages to get the fight to the ground, Junior seems confident in his BJJ skills, and feels he’ll be safe regardless of where the fight goes.
“I’m a MMA fighter,” dos Santos said during a May 24 UFC 146 press conference. “I’m really confident in all areas. If the fight goes to the ground, I’ll be fighting on the ground. I’m not afraid of any situation in a fight. I just keep the fight standing because I’m very confident in that area.”
While it might not be the highly anticipated fight between dos Santos and Overeem many MMA fans were looking forward to, I do expect Mir to step up his game at UFC 146 and make it a very competitive fight.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.