UFC 146 Preview

The Heavyweights are back as UFC 146 features the heavyweight title bout that many were not expecting to happen so soon. Of course Junior dos Santos was always going to be involved as the defending Heavyweight Champion. The strange part was that Frank Mir would be in the opposite corner for yet another shot at the title he once held. Mir took the spot of one of the most anticipated heavyweights in the UFC who had just come off of the latest super fight. Alistair Overeem took on Brock Lesnar in one of the biggest fights of 2011 for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title. It would have been Overeem’s second fight in the UFC but would have been yet another title belt he would fight for as he had won the title in every promotion he was a part of. Then last month Overeem was suspended due to a failed drug test, giving legitimacy to all of the rumours of Overeem’s size. With Overeem’s suspension and Brock Lesnar’s retirement from the UFC left the former champion Frank Mir to take on Dos Santos for the championship. As all of the controversy swirled around the Heavyweight division one thing remained the same, Junior dos Santos. JDS won the title in the very publicized UFC on Fox in November 2011 and since then has prepared for his first title defence despite being thrown a last-minute changeup. JDS has been on a role since entering the UFC in 2008 when he beat Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90. He has yet to lose since that fight as he has rattled off an 8-0 record in the UFC. He climbed the ladder the old way going through the rungs of the heavyweight ladder until he got his shot against Cain Velasquez and took complete advantage of it. Now he will have the chance to show he is a true champion and become the first fighter to defend the heavyweight title since Brock Lesnar defended it twice after winning it in 2008. His opponent will be the two-time champion Frank Mir who has been at the top of the heavyweight division for years. Mir did not just get lucky to get a title shot as he was likely the next in line after Alistair faced off with Junior dos Santos. Mir has been on his own run lately after refocusing on a title run and bulking up to challenge the super heavyweights in the division, aka Brock Lesnar. Mir will be in a familiar position as he has fought in 3 title fights since 2008 but has only won one of them. Since his last title loss against Shane Carwin for the interim belt in 2010 Mir changed his approach to training and has put together a three fight win streak. In his last fight Mir faced his longtime rival Minotauro Nogueira and did something that nobody had ever done before forcing the BJJ black belt to tap, or rather ended the fight by separating Nogueira’s shoulder. Mir will look to take his hot streak into the fight against Junior dos Santos, who has been trained by Nogueira, and hope to become a three-time champion. Both fighters are very similar as they represent the smaller side of the heavyweight division that was moving towards a super heavyweight dominance. They are both very good on the ground as JDS has a BJJ Black Belt while Mir is a wrestler who has a tendency to break bones when he can get a hold of them. They are also both good on the feet with their fair share of KOs to end fights making both men rounded fighters. It is clear that Mir has been dubbed as the underdog with JDS being the favorite to defend his championship. It will not be that easy for JDS as Mir has the experience to throw something at the champion to try to confuse him and get him off his game. Still JDS looks to be a potentially dominant champion and although he will not walk over Mir he will win in a tight Unanimous Decision victory.

Before the championship is decided the heavyweight division will be on display as four fighters in the division will face off. First will be Roy Nelson and Dave Herman in a matchup of the veteran against the young gun. Nelson has been around the MMA circuit and seen almost everything but he is still looking for that UFC championship. He has stayed on the edge since entering the UFC and needs a win to recover from his last fight, a loss to Fabricio Werdum, to get back to the top where he can get a title shot. Meanwhile Dave Herman has only fought twice in the UFC and has a 1-1 record but is one of the more promising heavyweight prospects. It is thanks to the suspension of Overeem that Herman got this fight but if he can take advantage of it he can put a name like Nelson on his record which will propel him up the ladder. The next fight will feature a former champion and a UFC newcomer who is far from a newcomer in the world of MMA. Cain Velasquez was supposed to face Frank Mir and instead was handed the 6’4” 265 lbs fighter by the name of Bigfoot. Velasquez is coming off of his failed title defence and is looking to stay at the top to earn a rematch against Junior dos Santos. His opponent will be Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva who will be making his UFC debut after spending years in Elite XC and Strikeforce. He has a number of notches on his 16-3 record including Andrei Arlovski and the once thought to be unbeatable Fedor Emalianenko. He will be looking to make an impact and hopefully take Velasquez’s spot among the elite of the heavyweight division. UFC 146 will highlight a very competitive heavyweight division as they will feature fighters from the bottom to the top of the division in all 6 of the main card fights as one night will change the division for the foreseeable future.

 

Fight Card:

Main Event:

Junior “Cigano” dos Santos vs. Frank Mir [Heavyweight Championship] (PPV)

 

Main Card:

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (PPV)

 

Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Dave “Pee Wee” Herman (PPV)

 

Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario (PPV)

 

Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs. Lavar “Big” Johnson (PPV)

 

Undercard:

Diego “Ceara” Brandao vs. Darren “The Damage” Elkins (Sportsnet)

 

Edson “Junior” Barboza vs. Jamie Varner (Sportsnet)

 

Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway (Sportsnet)

 

Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig (Sportsnet)

 

Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann vs. Paul Sass (Facebook)

 

Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira (Facebook)

 

Mike Brown vs. Daniel “The Pit” Pineda (Facebook)

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