By now everyone knows that Frank Mir has stepped in to replace Alistair Overeem at UFC 146. That happened weeks ago, but now the event is upon us. I’ve been reading other blogs, comments and opinions from fans and it seems as if everyone is writing Mir off.
The thought is that Dos Santos stand up is so impressive that Mir will never have a shot. Even if Mir can get it to the ground, Dos Santos is a Nogueira product and will be perfectly fine on the ground. However, there is a huge difference between practicing jiu-jitsu and incorporating it into a fight.
We’ve never seen Dos Santos on the ground. The most that happened is a takedown against Shane Carwin, but that was at the end of the fight and he didn’t do anything when he was on top. Frank Mir is a whole different animal.
Mir has submitted the who’s who of the UFC. He’s broken multiple limbs, such as Tim Sylvia and Big Nog. It’s not that he enjoys breaking bones either, but that his opponents refuse to tap. He has that “snap or tap” mentality.
The huge understated fact is Mir has a big mental edge over Dos Santos. He has nothing to lose being the underdog and he defeated Dos Santos mentor twice. Nogueira was supposed to be the best submission artist in the heavyweight division, but Mir ended that thought. Now, Dos Santos is supposed to feel confident being a Nogueira product?
Every fight Mir has his stand up seems to improve. It’s crisper and more technical than the previous fight. He has heavy hands and is a strong fighter. Mir won’t be swimming in the deep end against Dos Santos in the standup game.
There’s also the case to be made that the jiu-jitsu advantage for Mir is a much bigger gap than the stand up advantage for Dos Santos. If Mir can get this fight to the ground or even in the clinch he has a huge opportunity.
I’m not saying Mir is the favorite. Dos Santos has run through his opponents and should definitely be the favorite, but Mir definitely has a chance to defeat him. The former champ has a big experience advantage and being a two time champ should help him. This fight isn’t as cut and dry a decision as fans are looking at it as, but we will all find out Saturday.