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UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir Picks

May 25, 2012

MMA

Though the UFC has had some great heavyweight champions, along with some fantastic heavyweight matches, UFC fans have waited a long time for an all heavyweights card.  UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir will toss five heavyweights into the main card to punch, kick, brawl, and submit each other.  I went 1-3 in the UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller card…  Here’s the picks for the big fellas card on Saturday night, including the Heavyweight Championship bout between Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir!  But before the break, I’ll leave you with Roy Nelson…

Heavyweight Bout: Stefan Struve (23-5, 7-3 UFC) vs. Lavar Johnson (17-5, 2-0 UFC).

Stefan Struve applying the triangle choke to Pat Barry

Stefan Struve is a submission specialist, holding a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  He holds a couple of nice submission victories, including a triangle choke against Pat Barry, who Johnson TKO’d in his last fight.  Still, he got TKO’d by JDS and Roy Nelson and really doesn’t have any marquee victories.  Still a bit of an up and comer, a win against Johnson would be big for the 6’11” Struve.

Lavar Johnson is an animal in the cage.  He wowed the UFC with a furious TKO victory over Pat Barry earlier in May at UFC on FOX 3.  He has been susceptible to submission losses in the past, as he tapped to a keylock and an armbar against Shawn Jordan and Shane Del Rosario respectively.  Still, if this fight stays on the feet, he holds a clear advantage.

Johnson is a warrior, and he dominated Pat Barry and thrilled the crowd on Cinco de Mayo.  Struve is a decent submission fighter, but he just isn’t in the same class as Johnson.  Lavar should pound him pretty good.

Prediction: Johnson – 1st round TKO.

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Heavyweight Bout: Stipe Miočić (8-0, 2-0 UFC) vs. Shane Del Rosario (11-0, 0-0 UFC)

Stipe Miocic might wear the same checkerboard pattern as Croatian legend Mirko Filipovic, but he’s a very different brand of fighter

Stipe Miočić is a former collegiate baseball player and wrestler at Cleveland State University.  He received interest from Major League Baseball, but chose to take on a career in MMA.  He holds only one submission win… and it was due to leg kicks.  He also holds a decision win over Joey Beltran, but claims every other victory on his record by technical or pure knockout.  Like all heavyweights, he has some big knockout power and can take guys out with a stiff jab, as Phil de Fries discovered.  Still, I think he’s a guy that needs to round his game out a bit more.

Shane Del Rosario delivering a nasty kick to Lolohea Mahe

Shane Del Rosario has fought for Strikeforce, M-1, and ShoXC, a few of the bigger promotions out there.  He’s also a two-time WBC Muay Thai World Heavyweight Champion, with an 8-1 record as a kickboxer.   He made Lavar Johnson tap out to an armbar in his last fight, and also owns a nasty omoplata submission.  He’s a mauler in the cage, and his accomplished kickboxing record should help himself amongst the big boys in the UFC.

Del Rosario has a decent ground game to go with superior standup.  I think he’ll win this fight, though I haven’t seen enough of these guys to be an expert on either one.

Prediction: Del Rosario – 2nd round KO

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Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson (16-7, 3-3 UFC) vs. Dave Herman (21-3, 1-1 UFC)

Big Country sure is goofy to look at, but he will smash your face

Roy “Big Country” Nelson is a fat man.  And a funny man.  And a dangerous man.  And a guy who’s lost a lot of fights to a lot of good fighters lately.  Three of his last four fights have gone to a decision, with a huge knockout of Mirko Cro Cop sandwiched in there.  He hasn’t had a ton of success since winning Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, but has become a total fan favorite.  The portly Nelson was set to fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva briefly, before he moved up to take on Cain Velasquez.  Then Gabriel Gonzaga was linked to the fight, before Herman was booked to fill the spot at last.  Believe it or not, Big Country IS a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Dave Herman may look fairly ordinary, but he’s vicious in the cage

Dave “Pee Wee” Herman is the prototypical dominant independent heavyweight.  He’s fought on the indie circuits since New Year’s Eve 2006, and has dominated.  He beat down old man Don Frye in a minute and won his first 15 professional fights.  Still, he lost his UFC debut in a TKO beatdown at the hands of Stefan Struve, and will try to keep Big Country on the losing track.

This might be the toughest fight to call.  Who can’t love them some Big Country?  But Pee Wee is an accomplished indie fighter who failed to top hi first opponent in the UFC.  I think Nelson comes out on top, but this one could go either way.

Prediction: Nelson – Unanimous decision

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Heavyweight bout: Cain Velasquez (9-1, 7-1 UFC) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-3, 0-0 UFC)

Cain Velasquez will be looking to get his belt back… beginning with Bigfoot SIlva

Cain Velasquez was the UFC Heavyweight Champion, until Junior Dos Santos knocked him out at the first UFC on FOX.  Velasquez is a high level wrestler, an All-American, a PAC-10 champion, and an accomplished freestyle wrestler.  He also possesses unbelievable knockout power, KOing eight of his nine victims.  His right hand is a force to be reckoned with, and he was looked at as the potential longtime champion that the division has never had before JDS stopped him.  Talk was, Velasquez injured his knee a few days before the fight.  Still, Dos Santos fought him with a torn meniscus.  Velasquez will be hungry, and may only be a fight or two away from a rematch.

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was already an accomplished mixed-martial artist before coming to the UFC.  He holds a black belt in jiu jitsu, judo, and karate, and claimed a litany of fighters in his win column.  Then he beat up Fedor Emilianenko, the longtime PRIDE champion and possible greatest heavyweight of all time, in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal.  But up-and-comer Daniel Cormier beat down Bigfoot, and Silva jumped to the UFC.  He now takes on an accomplished wrestler in Velasquez, but possesses a wide array of attacks to counter a lot of what Velasquez likes to do.

Theoretically, we’re looking at a wrestler-vs.-jiu-jitsu matchup in this fight, but it will likely stay on the feet.  Velasquez did not go to the ground against Dos Santos, which many feel was a mistake in that fight.  Velasquez has beaten a who’s-who of UFC fighters already and won’t be intimidated by the more experienced Silva.  Still, Silva might just be too versatile for Velasquez.  Wrestlers aren’t comfortable from the bottom, and if it goes to the ground, Silva may have an advanatage.  Velasquez is most comfortable pressing the action quickly in a fight, but Silva is good enough to withstand the storm.

Prediction: Velasquez – 2nd round TKO.

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Heavyweight Championship bout: Junior Dos Santos (14-1, 8-0 UFC) vs. Frank Mir (16-5, 14-5 UFC).

Junior Dos Santos possesses unbelievable knockout power.  His right hand is considered a weapon of mass destruction by all who have fought him.  His only loss was before his UFC run, where he was caught in an armbar by Joaquim Ferreira.  Though he is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, he hasn’t really used it much during his MMA career.  Though JDS’ striking ability is well known, the wild card is his ground game.  It’s something that can be a little overrated in the heavyweight division, but in a fight against Mir it’s not enough to simply be able to beat him up.  JDS has crushed almost everybody he’s fought, but he’s slowed down a bit lately.  Before the Velasquez fight, JDS had gone to a decision against Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin (in the title eliminator fight).  As the level of competition steps up, will JDS be able to continue his rise through the ranks?  His biggest test may be on Saturday…

http://www.superlutas.com.br/noticias/8405/video-rodrigo-minotauro-vs-frank-mir  *WARNING: Graphic kimura submission. Very painful.  Do not watch if you aren’t ready to be slightly disgusted.*

Frank Mir is a two time UFC Heavyweight Champion.  His submission skills may be the best in the big class, and he sports a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, along with a black belt in Kenpo Karate.  With nine submission wins to only four wins via KO, Mir is a guy that is more happy to go to the ground and dominate.  He dominated against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, becoming the first man to knock out and submit Big Nog.  See above for the already legendary snapping of the arm of Nogueira.  It was an unbelievable moment, but Mir knows that he belongs among the elite.  In addition to Big Nog, he holds wins over Brock Lesnar, Antoni Hardonk, Roy Nelson, Cro Cop, and a nasty armbar win over Tim Sylvia.

Many have attempted to resist Mir’s takedowns.  Few have succeeded.  Mir has fought for the UFC since UFC 34, the promotions second card under the Zuffa umbrella.  He’s the underdog in this fight, but Mir’s been underestimated plenty of times before.  JDS’ camp has talked up his ground game, saying that he is much better than Mir in the jiu jitsu and wrestling games.  I find that hard to believe, with Mir’s exemplary credentials.  The heavyweight division is littered with the bodies of men who were supposed to win, but got caught in one wrong place at one wrong time.  Mir has been on both ends in the past, and will be cool and calm when he steps back into the Octagon.

Prediction: Mir – 2nd round submission – armbar

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Think I’m batty?  Agree with the calls?  Leave thoughts in the comments section about UFC 146’s heavyweight bouts!

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About mattpocket

I am the Sports Director at 88.3 FM WXOU Radio, out of Oakland University. I am the play-by-play voice of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. I've been to two NCAA Tournaments, been heard on ESPN, and won 9 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards. Follow me on Twitter. @cornerpocket422 You can tune in to The Corner Pocket every Friday from 3-5 pm with my cohost Bryan and Everson and myself, featuring the best guests, such as Dave Birkett, Jim Nill, and Bruce Buffer.

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One Comment on “UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir Picks”

  1. Grieser Says:

    Rooting for Stipe, Nelson, Big Foot, a good title fight, and for Struve to not be taken from the arena in a hearse.

    1. Nothing would be better than to see Nelson make Herman tap with some kick ass jiu jitsu. especially after what herman has recently had to say about the art.

    2. Im not a fan of Velasquez. Heres hoping we get Silva v Fedor and not Silva v Cormier.

    3. A good close heavyweight title fight would be big for the UFC and I think they may get one. The two fighters in that match are both very well rounded guys who can fight anywhere. Mir has been in some of the biggest matches ever in MMA ie vs Brock Lesnar.

    cant wait for this card. LETS GET IT ON!!!

    Reply

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