UFC 146: Frank Mir says Junior dos Santos title bout easier to prepare for than planned Cain Velasquez fight

Posted on May 13th, 2012 by Rich in Martial Arts Resources

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief


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Frank Mir was already set to compete on May 26 when he was promoted to the UFC 146 main event following Alistair Overeem’s positive drug test in March. Now competing for the UFC Heavyweight Championship against Junior dos Santos instead of a number one contender fight with Cain Velasquez, Mir says his preparation has actually been easier for this new fight.

“I think preparing for Velasquez was a little bit tougher,? Mir said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun. ?He’s capable of doing so many different things, and obviously, he has top-notch wrestling. With dos Santos, his weapon of choice is boxing. It’s superior to everyone else’s, but it’s still one-dimensional. It’s nice to know what’s coming.?

“His technique is a little different. It’s good, in my opinion, but I’m not a boxing expert. I certainly think his speed and athletic ability is what makes his boxing stand out the most.”

In addition to feeling his preparation is easier for this bout, he also believes the pressure is squarely on dos Santos, who will be expected to win in his first ever title defense. Because of that, Mir is feeling more than confident coming into his first title fight since 2009’s UFC 100 event.

“When you’re the challenger, you come in, and if you lose, you lose the title shot,” Mir said. “You can kind of sit back with that. As long as you fought well, you can live with the outcome. But when you’re the champion, there’s no choice. You’re expected to win. You have to put everything into that moment.”

Penick’s Analysis: Dos Santos thinks Mir says things like this and doesn’t actually believe them to be true himself, either to talk himself up, raise his own confidence, or get into his opponent’s head. We’ve seen that to be the case with Mir’s last title fight, his rematch with Brock Lesnar, where he talked an inordinate amount of trash and suffered one of the more brutal beatings of his career because of that. Still, Mir’s got a lot of skills, and whether he’s a massive underdog or not he shouldn’t be looked past. He’s surprised people in the past with some of his performances, and though I still wholly expect dos Santos to retain the title – as most will – I won’t be entirely shocked if Mir finds a way to pull off the upset.

[Frank Mir art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_13265.shtml

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