UFC 111: Shane Carwin Is Frank Mir's Warm Up for Brock Lesnar
Frank Mir will beat Shane Carwin at UFC 111 on Saturday night.
Not only will Mir beat Carwin, he'll do so in dominating fashion. After the fight, he will stand in the center of the Octagon when the UFC ushers in Lesnar for a stare-down to begin the hype fest for their fight this summer.
When the two meet this summer, Mir will avenge his lost to Lesnar last July and become the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion. It will serve as the pinnacle of Mir's career and cement his place as one of the best fighters in the history of mixed marital arts.
That's not to say that both Carwin and Lesnar aren't great fighters in their own right, but Mir has risen above each to become the best fighter in the division.
While some will say that this is nothing more than talk from a Frank Mir "homer", I assure you that isn't the case. In fact, I've been a huge supporter for Lesnar since his debut in the UFC two years ago, and cheered for him in each of his two previous fights against Mir.
So you may ask yourself, "Why so much love for Frank Mir?"
Quite simply, Mir is the most talented fighter in the division with the fewest questions of any fighter at the top of the division.
Mir has the best stand-up. He was the first fighter to knock out Minotauro Nogueira. Yes, Cain Velasquez did as well, but Mir did it when Nogueira still had the aura of not being able to be knocked out.
Mir also possesses the best submission skills of anyone in the division. Of his 13 career wins, eight have come due to submission, including tap out wins over Lesnar and most recently Cheick Kongo.
He is one of the few fighters that is actually more dangerous on his back as he proved in his first fight against Lesnar.
Mir's weakness was exposed in his second fight against Lesnar. He proved too small to combat Lesnar's size on the ground. Like any great fighter, he took a weakness, made it an obsession, and turned it into a strength.
Mir put on 20 pounds of solid muscle before the Kongo fight, but he didn't sacrifice any of his speed or agility in the process. He's as quick as ever, but he now has more power and bulk to take away any advantage that either Carwin or Lesnar might have previously had.
Now the biggest question will be Mir's chin. Both Carwin and Lesnar possess great power, capable of knocking out the 30-year-old former champion. Carwin is more likely to want to stand and trade with Mir, so look for him to take Carwin to the ground.
Yes, both Carwin and Lesnar are great wrestlers, there's no denying that. Mir needs to be the aggressor and take the fight to each man. He needs to make them react to him, not vice-versa.
Frank Mir was already an ultra-talented fighter, but adding in the fire and desire to overcome an obstacle like Lesnar makes him the most dangerous fighter in the world, in any weight class.
There's no doubt it will be a gigantic task to overcome, but if anyone is capable of beating the new breed of heavyweight fighters back-to-back, it's Mir.
Mir versus Carwin should be a great fight, and a third Mir-Lesnar match could be the biggest in the history of the sport. Winning both fights will give Mir a compelling case to be called the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport.
Many have soured on Mir lately due to his ego and willingness to talk trash. Humility in MMA may be more important than any sport, because a fighter can be humbled so quickly.
In Mir's case, when you're able to back up everything you say, it's not so much bragging as it is stating fact. Saturday night will serve as the launch of Mir's quest for the title; just don't be surprised if it's an easier quest than most think.
To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here.
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