Some of us still have to wait another week to open our holiday gifts. UFC fighter Frank Mir got his gift a week early. The former UFC heavyweight champion has agreed to fight for the interim title at UFC 111. Mir will meet Shane Carwin in a match to determine the UFC heavyweight interim champion in Newark, NJ this March.
I don’t have a doubt in my mind that Mir’s impressive fight at UFC 107 against Cheick Kongo motivated Dana White’s decision to make the interim title fight. Not only was Mir’s 72 second win over Kongo impressive, his interviews before and after the fight put him right back in the limelight. Dana White is anything but a dummy and moved fast to capitalize on Mir’s relevance. This will be Mir’s first crack at the title since losing the belt to Brock Lesnar back in July at UFC 100.
[adinserter block=”1″]I give Shane Carwin a ton of credit for his patience over the last few months. He went from training to fight Brock Lesnar in September to the fight being delayed, to his own surgery, and now to having a brand new opponent. I also give Dana White a ton of credit for keeping Carwin in the title mix after promising him the match. Carwin’s ranking as a number one contender in the heavyweight division is very dubious. Many skeptics feel that Carwin got the fight for reasons other than his record. While Carwin is undefeated, he doesn’t have the big win that generally gets someone a title match in the UFC.
The fight will be added to UFC 111 and will be billed as a co-main event to headline alongside of Georges St. Pierre defending his UFC welterweight title against Dan Hardy. Ironically, GSP and Frank Mir co-main event once again after co-headlining the most successful UFC show in history, UFC 100. Thiago Alves is also slated to return on the show. Looking at the UFC schedule over the next several months, it is possible that the UFC could jack this show up with a Rampage Evans-Rashad Evans grudge match to take advantage of the close proximity to the New York market.
The big news here is that the UFC has finally moved on from Brock Lesnar after months of speculation. Dana White said over the weekend that he would give Lesnar up to six weeks to get healthy before he moved to an interim title fight. Lesnar’s camp has recently stated that Brock was doing well. White must not have been convinced otherwise he would have never made this fight. White has been extremely patient with Lesnar who hasn’t fought since July. This will only add further fuel to the speculation that Brock Lesnar is done fighting. It will be very interesting to see what kind of response comes from the Brock Lesnar camp.
[adinserter block=”2″]All in all I think this has the potential to be a great fight. These are two of the most explosive fighters in all of MMA. Carwin has never been past the first round, while Mir has only fought once past the second round. Carwin is about as much of a Brock Lesnar clone as Frank Mir will ever fight in MMA. Should Lesnar comeback at some point in 2010, a fight against the winner would do tremendous business no matter who wins this fight. In the meantime, both Carwin and Mir are big talkers and the pre-fight hype should be a lot of fun. Get ready for some early fireworks, lots of hype, and a whole lot of tension leading up to UFC 111.
Thanks to MMAJunkie.com for the tip!
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