When heavyweights Frank Mir and Junior dos Santos meet on May 26 in the main event at UFC 146 the gameplan for both appears to be fairly simple – if “Cigano” keeps things standing he has a solid shot of retaining his divisional title; if Mir can get things to the mat he has an above-average chance of winning the championship. Such an assessment is not a matter of guesswork but rather the take of Mir himself who recently spoke about his upcoming bout with JDS.
“I don’t think it’s any secret: he has no chance of winning the fight if it goes to the ground. The only time that I’ve ever seen him take a shot is if he’s pretty handily winning the fight and I think he just does it just for maybe a change of pace, to throw something out there,” said Mir while serving as a guest on this week’s episode of Inside MMA. “But as far as when you see people engage him, he’s a throw-punches-and-run kind of guy. He doesn’t wanna sit there and get grabbed and taken down and he’s not gonna fight that battle. If he was capable of doing it, we probably would’ve seen it already. Fact is, he avoids it like it’s poison.”
Dos Santos has not tapped an opponent out with BJJ since his second professional appearance more than five years ago, stopping ten of the fourteen foes he’s beaten by way of strikes. Comparably, Mir is 16-5 with nine submission finishes including an impressive finish of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in December.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I’m not sure I’d go as far as Mir in saying Dos Santos has zero chance of winning on the ground but he’ll definitely be out of his element if Mir can get him there. It makes for a perfect contrast of styles, though one I’m not sure will come into play as Mir’s chin has shown some wear-and-tear in his recent bouts and could result in the former champ’s collapse if JDS hits him cleanly at any point.