In what could be his last possible chance to regain the UFC heavyweight title, former champion Frank Mir (16-5) knows where his best chance of success is in his upcoming bout with Junior dos Santos (14-1) at UFC 146, and it's where he thinks his opponent has "no chance."
"Obviously, we're fighting a guy who's made his career now of not going to the ground," Mir said on HDNet's Inside MMA. "The only time I've ever seen him take a shot is if he's pretty handily winning the fight. He just does it to, maybe a change of pace to throw something out there. But as far as, you see when 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," Mir continued. "He's not gonna fight that battle. If he was capable of doing it, we probably would've seen it already. The fact is that he avoids it like it's poison. I think for two reasons—one, I don't he's probably that very good on the ground, and two, he is so good on his feet."
Without more than a glimpse of Dos Santos on the ground in his UFC career, it should be pointed out that his only loss came by an armbar in 2007. Mir has submitted nine of his opponents, including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who he submitted with a vicious kimura at UFC 140.
On a card that has already had some major changes, including a main event between JDS and Alistair Overeem being replaced with JDS vs. Mir, fans expect it to be a great night of fights featuring 10 of the UFC's best heavyweights.
In the co-main event, former champion Cain Velasquez will fight Antonio Silva in a must-win fight, as both of them are coming off of first-round KO losses. Velasquez was beaten for the first time in his career last November when Dos Santos knocked him out. Originally, Mir was supposed to fight him on the card before Overeem got removed.
"The only difference that I feel with Dos Santos is that Dos Santos is the better boxer, quicker hands," Mir said. "He just isn't as multi-faceted as Velasquez is. As far as, when you fight Dos Santos, I don't think it's any secret, he has no chance of winning the fight if it goes to the ground. If we go into a wrestling match, he's in trouble. He has to keep it where he's best at, and you know, he's the best boxer in the heavyweight division."
The pay-per-view event will go down May 26 in Las Vegas. Other main-card matchups include Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman, Shane del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic and Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve.