THE MGM GRAND, Las Vegas, is the fittingly named host of this weekend’s UFC event that is dominated by action in the heavyweight division.
All the fights on the main card are taken from the top division and although Alistair Overeem was originally pencilled in to take on Junior dos Santos, the championship matchup against Frank Mir should be every bit as exciting.
Couple this with arguably one of the most stacked preliminary cards ever and we have an event that is well worth staying up until the wee hours to watch live.
Frank Mir knows what it takes to be a heavyweight champion and although it looked as if his time had come and gone, he has been thrown one last shot to try and get his hands on the belt again.
While Overeem has been left to rue his testosterone indiscretions, Mir is delighted with the opportunity to fight for the title once more and just because he wasn’t the original pick, doesnt mean poses any less danger for JDS than Overeem would have. Mir unceremoniously broke Big Nog’s arm last time out and he carries some form into this bout with wins over Roy Nelson and Cro-Cop.In a classic matchup of styles, it’s the division’s top jiu- jitsu practitioner versus the division’s top striker and it is because of this, Mir could struggle.
He was rocked in his last three fights and JDS is probably going to be quicker and hit harder than any of Mir’s previous opponents, so in theory it should point to a “Cigano” KO win. But Mir’s strength is maintaining composure in those desperate times and he will look to get Junior to the ground if this happens and that’s when the fireworks could happen.
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Getting the heavyweights in order
This event is practically reshaping the whole division in one foul swoop and the winner of Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva could be next in line for a shot at the champ, whoever that may be. Silva is facing a UFC baptism of fire as he takes on the wounded animal Velasquez who was dethroned by dos Santos in just over one minute last time out.
That has been the former champ’s one and only defeat and he will be looking to bounce back with a win over “Bigfoot.” Silva looked destined for greatness after his win over Fedor before being KO’d by undefeated Daniel Cormier who is now the Strikeforce heavyweight champ and Velazquez’s wrestling coach.
With this inside line, he will know how to use Silva’s size against him and will prove to be too quick and heavy handed as he looks to get back on the championship trail as quickly as possible. Less than three weeks after KO’ing Pat Barry, Lavar Johnson is back in action again against Stefan Struve as a late replacement for the injured Mark Munoz.
He will have his work cut out trying to reproduce the same type of performance against “The Skyscraper” but momentum is defiantly on the American’s side as he looks to improve to 3-0 in the UFC.
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Best of the rest
Roy Nelson’s heart and ability to take a punch have never been in question but he desperately needs a victory here to keep his UFC career alive and if he can’t get it against middle tier heavyweight Dave Herman, then he may as well give up. Werdum, Mir and dos Santos were all unable to stop Nelson so it’s unlikely Herman will, paving the way for a vital win for “Big Country”.
The preliminary card boasts fighters such as Dan Hardy, Jason Miller, Paul Sass and Edson Barboza as all these look to force their way back onto the main cards in the future.