UFC 130: 5 Reasons Frank Mir Will Defeat Roy Nelson

Michael Evans@@MikeEvansMMACorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2011

UFC 130: 5 Reasons Frank Mir Will Defeat Roy Nelson

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    Frank Mir and Roy Nelson enter the Octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on much different career paths.  Mir has had his ups and downs in his career and now looks to get back into title contention with a win over the Ultimate Fighter season 10 winner.  Nelson is on his way up and looks to rebound from his loss to Junior Dos Santos—his first loss in the UFC. 

    Mir wants to reclaim the heavyweight title very badly and Nelson is hungry for a win after coming off a loss.  At the present, each man is completing their final weeks of training before they clash at UFC 130 on May 28, 2011.  I will present five reasons that Mir will emerge victorious.

Mir Has Become More Evasive Since His Fights with Lesnar and Carwin

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    After losing to Brock Lesnar in brutal fashion at UFC 100, Mir decided to bulk up to deal with the size of the juggernaut-sized heavyweights of the modern UFC.  He learned when he fought Shane Carwin that being bigger does not make your chin less succeptable to punishment.  After being knocked out once again at UFC 111, Mir again refocused his gameplan and decided that size might not be the problem.  Last September, he used a more evasive style to clinch, get in and out of range and eventually landed a knee on Mirko Crop Cop in the final frame to put the legend away.

Mir's Improved Head Movement Will Help Him Avoid the Big Right Hand

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    It is no secret that the best weapon of Roy Nelson of late has been his overhand right.  That right hand spun Brendan Schaub around like a top.  The same right hand toppled Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve.  Since losing to Lesnar and Carwin, Frank has learned to use superior head movement to get in and out of range and to never take a direct power shot.  He now knows that one big punch or kick from a heavyweight can put him away and now he is much more elusive.  When he fought Cheick Kongo he pounced on him quick, and when he fought Cro Cop he used head movement and combinations to get in range and work his clinch.  Expect to see more of the same at UFC 130.

Speed Kills

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    Roy Nelson isn't going to be winning any wet t-shirt contests anytime soon.  All joking aside, he is a serious threat in the Octagon, but one of his major flaws is his speed.  Mir on the other hand is much faster.  His speed was on display when he fought Kongo.  He was able to land an overhand right and then pounce on his foe to sink in a guillotine choke before he could bounce back up.  As the fight goes on, the speed differential between the two men will be more and more apparent.  Nelson will have his greatest chance early in the fight when he is fresh.  It is highly unlikely that he will be able to land one of his big overhand rights in the third round as he gets slower and slower.  Mir will still have his speed and can execute his gameplan until the final bell.  This speed advantage will prove to be a major factor on May 28.

Level of Competition Matters

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    Mir has fought a much higher level of competition across his entire career.  Not taking anything away from Roy, but who you fight does matter.  If a person is constantly challenged against top notch guys they get better learn their limits.  Mir fought two fights and was then brought into the UFC just after Zuffa purchased the organization.  Roy Nelson has bounced between big stages and small stages.  When Nelson fought Junior Dos Santos he had a rude awakening.  He now knows that he needs to reevaluate things and evolve.  I just don't think that he has enough time to break old habits before he meets Mir.  Mir has been forced to improve and rethink himself over and over because he has been in the UFC for just under 10 years now.  This is another reason that Frank will have his hand raised in Las Vegas.

The Submission Game of Mir Will Be Too Much for Roy

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    Lastly, Frank Mir has an unforgiving submission game.  Tim Sylvia had his arm snapped in half by Frank Mir.  He beat Tank Abbott with a toe hold.  Mir took Antoni Hardonk out with a kimura.  Kongo was choked out by Frank Mir.  Brock Lesnar was caught in a Mir kneebar and was forced to tap.  Can Roy Nelson get out of one of these holds?  It will be very difficult to submit Roy Nelson, but if any man can do it, Frank Mir is that man.  Nelson has never lost by submission, but the submission game of Mir is the best in the heavyweight division.  This is another advantage that Mir has and is the fifth and final reason that he will leave the Octagon with a victory.