With the UFC heavyweight title in limbo, the UFC will hope to provide some clarity to the division with a big heavyweight showdown at UFC 130. Former MMA heavyweight champions collide as verbal agreements are in place for Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson. The fight is being targeted for UFC 130.
The news is the one bright spot in a division that has been in turmoil for several months. A year ago the division filled with Brock Lesnar, Mir, Nelson, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, and Mirko Cro Cop had a ton of promise. Injuries and contract squabbles since have plagued the division to the point where making any kind of an elite matchup seemed to be near impossible.
[adinserter block=”2″]Since submitting Brock Lesnar at UFC 81, Frank Mir’s UFC career has been very up and very down. Frank Mir found new life with the win and became something of a hero to the MMA community who were furious that a former pro wrestler would enter their world. Mir has since gone 3-2 with real impressive wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo and devastating losses against Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. Mir’s knockout win over Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 119 while a win in the books, was arguably the most unimpressive Mir has looked in any of his wins since beating Dan Christison at UFC 61 in 2006.
Roy Nelson has become something of a people’s champ since entering the UFC on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 and dominating Kimbo Slice in front of the largest audience to ever watch the show on Spike TV. The former IFL champion has gone 2-1 with impressive KO wins over up and coming heavyweights Stefan Struve and Brendan Schaub. Nelson’s last fight a loss against Junior dos Santos arguably looked more impressive than Frank Mir did in his win over Cro Cop. JDS is regarded as one of the best strikers in the division yet couldn’t knock out Nelson after going toe to toe with the big man for three rounds. Nelson surprised a lot of critics by not only lasting all three rounds with Santos, but looking fresher than the winner did after three grueling rounds.
This should be a hell of a fight. It is one of those heavyweight fights that could just as easily end on the ground as it could in a knockout. Both men have superior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills with a combined 13 submission wins. I would easily give Nelson the edge standing as he looks to have heavier hands and if Junior dos Santos couldn’t knock him out I can’t imagine Frank Mir pulling it off. However after his disappointing effort against Cro Cop, I can easily see Mir going out there trying to push the pace, keep it on their feet intent with giving fans at UFC 130 the show he couldn’t provide at UFC 119.
This fight tells a lot about the current situation between the UFC and Brock Lesnar. It looked like a given that Lesnar vs. Mir III would be up next for the former UFC champion. There were even further reports that indicated UFC president Dana White was targeting both men to coach The Ultimate Fighter. Obviously this fight tells me that this won’t be happening and the president will have to look elsewhere for coaches.
[adinserter block=”1″]Recent MMA reports indicate that Brock Lesnar has been in seclusion and that he has not trained nor talked to the UFC since his loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. Frank Mir and Roy Nelson were each rumored to be up next for Lesnar so with both of them off the table that tells me one of two things. Brock Lesnar will fight Junior dos Santos in a UFC interim heavyweight title fight while Cain Velasquez recovers from injury or things are a lot worse than most people think between the UFC and Lesnar. It is no secret that Lesnar’s desire to jump back into the pro wrestling ring and wrestle at WrestleMania 27 for a reported $2 million payday and Dana White’s reluctance to allow this has been a big point of contention that could keep both parties from doing business indefinitely.
Roy Nelson vs. Frank Mir is another high profile fight added to what looks to be one of the most stacked UFC shows of the year. UFC 130 is already rumored to have Rampage Jackson vs. Thiago Silva and is looking at adding either a UFC lightweight or featherweight championship match to the card. Right there you have three matches that could main-event a UFC show on their own. UFC 130 is scheduled to take place Memorial Day weekend at the MGM in Las Vegas.
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