Antonio Silva Says Junior Dos Santos Has Good BJJ Skills

First LastCorrespondent IMay 14, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC World Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos is seen at UFC on Fox:  Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

It's going to be a classic striker-vs.-grappler matchup when UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos defends his title against former champion Frank Mir later this month at UFC 146.

Or is it?

Heading into the anticipated matchup between two of the most dangerous heavyweights in the sport, many fans are expecting one of two things to happen—either JDS will knock out Mir, or he will fall into a submission like so many have before him, including his mentor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira did last year.

Fellow Brazilian Antonio Silva, who will also be fighting on the card against Cain Velasquez, is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Karate, and believes JDS has the BJJ skills to back up his very impressive stand-up skills.

Silva told

It’s complicated. (Nogueira and Mir) fought twice and unfortunately Mir won them both, but he shouldn’t take it personally because when you put your emotions in there it’s when you get off track...I’m sure he’s not taking this personally. After two, three rounds Mir will get frustrated and won’t handle it well.

Dos Santos carried a 13-1 record into his title fight last year, where he knocked out Velasquez to win the belt and improve his overall UFC record to 8-0 with five knockouts. His other victories include those over Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin, Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Mir will enter the bout having gone 3-0 in his last three fights with wins over Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop and Nelson.

One question fans might want to ask themselves is, will JDS make the same mistake Nogueira did if he drops Mir and goes in for the finish? It's unlikely he will go for a submission, but it will be interesting to see if he tries to if he gets the chance.

Silva continued:

I’d say Cigano’s a brown or black belt at Jiu-Jitsu, absolutely...He’s very good, fast, versatile and doesn’t get stuck on the positions, he can move fast and stand-up quickly. He’s on a good moment of his career. Every time he’s in Rio he trains much Jiu-Jitsu. Because he knocks many guys out people start thinking he’s just good at that.

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.