Coming up this Saturday, May 26, UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir comes to you live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. When this card was first announced, people were going crazy over the original main event between Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. Unfortunately, Overeem was pulled from the card after a failed drug test and the MMA world was up in arms trying to figure out who would take his place. Two weeks later, Dana White announced via Twitter that former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir, would be filling in against Junior Dos Santos.
Let’s take a look at the UFC 146 Main Card and see how it breaks down after all the shuffling around of fighters.
The first bout of the PPV broadcast features Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (23-5) as he faces off against late-replacement “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-5). When Struve’s original opponent, Mark Hunt, was injured less than two weeks before the fight, it became a mad scramble to find a replacement. With most of the division’s top competitors already locked into fights, Johnson seemed to be a perfect fit having come out unscathed against Pat Barry in the beginning of the month. Unlike most of Struve’s previous opponents, Johnson won’t be too disadvantaged in the size department being just seven inches shorter in height and only giving up three inches in reach. Taking into consideration that neither fighter has been in a boring fight lately, you can surely expect something good (or bad, depending on your point of view) when these two meet in the cage.
The next bout on the card is a battle of the undefeated as Stipe Miocic (8-0) faces off against Shane del Rosario (11-0). While neither man has really faced anybody near the top of the division, they have both put on great shows to get to this point in their career. Following a car accident that sidelined him for a year, del Rosario is itching to get back in the cage and pick up where he left off. Miocic made a good impression on the UFC fans as he outclassed Joey Beltran in his UFC debut and continued on to earn Knockout of the Night honors against Phil De Fries in the beginning of the year. With all the Heavyweight talent on this card, these two men will definitely have to be impressive if they want to outshine their peers.
As we move towards the main card, “Big Country” Roy Nelson (16-7) will square up against Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman (21-3). Nelson was originally slated to face Antonio Silva but Silva was pulled from the bout and bumped up after Frank Mir was removed from his bout with Cain Velasquez. With both men having lost their last fight, this one is a definite must-win in order to avoid back-to-back losses and slipping down the stacked Heavyweight ladder. Both fighters are very well-rounded and capable of ending the fight just about anywhere so don’t blink once it starts!
The Co-Main Event of the evening matches up former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez (9-1) with former EliteXC Heavyweight Champion Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-3). Velasquez’ original opponent, Frank Mir, was pulled from this bout in order to take part in the Main Event and Silva was pulled from his bout with Roy Nelson to fill the void. Velasquez’ AKA teammate, Daniel Cormier, already holds a victory over Silva and may have given him the extra edge he may need coming into this fight. However, in the MMA world, you can never predict what will happen next so there’s no telling how this fight will end. The winner of this fight may find themselves once step closer to a UFC title shot, or in Cain’s case, a chance to regain the thrown atop the division.
The night’s action will be capped off with a bang as champion Junior “Cigano” dos Santos (14-1) defends his title against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir (16-5). With a new opponent comes new threats and new gameplans, but Dos Santos is sure that he just needs to do what he does best in order to get the job done. In taking a look at the two fighters’ past, you can all but guarantee that this fight will be as exciting as any heavyweight bout can be. The only thing that’s certain is that one man will leave as the champion and one man will leave empty handed. The UFC Heavyweight Championship has changed hands so often in recent history, but with a win over Mir, Junior Dos Santos could very well bring some consistency back into the division.
In what could end up as the quickest PPV card in the history of the UFC, the Main Card is full of Heavyweights that are ready to throw it down. As is the case with most heavyweight bouts, you usually have two results- a slow-paced brawl that results in two gassed fighters clinging to each other at the final bell or a very exciting slugfest that keeps fans on the edge of their seat until the final punch. For the sake of the fans, one can only hope that UFC 146 falls under the latter category.