Preview of UFC 100
UFC 100 is Saturday and the company is touting it as its greatest card ever. Let's take a look at the main card bouts.
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
Lesnar is more than a former pro wrestler. He's a former NCAA heavyweight champion with the uncanny ability to learn new skills in a much shorter period of time than normal people.
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Lesnar has virtually dominated all but about 45 seconds of his mixed martial arts career. Even if you throw out his debut match against the overmatched and hapless Min-Soo Kim (a fight which Lesnar won by submission due to strikes), it should still be apparent that Lesnar is the real deal. After getting caught in a rookie mistake by Mir in their first fight, he rebounded to completely dominate Heath Herring, and then TKO'd aging legend Randy Couture to capture the UFC heavyweight championship.
In the Mir fight, he was overanxious and threw caution to the wind to try and finish the fight. He likely would have finished the fight, too, if referee Steve Mazagatti hadn't made a controversial standup call.
Mir's progression has been just as incredible as the path Lesnar has taken, but in a different manner. A few years ago, Mir was a nonstory. After an horrific motorcyle accident that nearly cost him his life, Mir became a shell of his former self. He never worked out, he never trained.
The 2009 version of Frank Mir is a completely different story. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's health going into UFC 92, it's still a fact that Mir became the first person to do what Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop and others simply could not do: He finished Nogueira. He used crisp striking and great head movement to befuddle Nogueira — and for the first time in his career, Mir looked like a complete fighter and a true threat to anyone in the heavyweight division.
However, Lesnar's improved jiujitsu and super strength should be able to thwart Mir's submission attempts.
This fight likely will see a standup battle early, and Lesnar should have the advantage. Expect to see a replay of their first fight, except Lesnar won't make the same foolish mistake this time.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves
St-Pierre may very well be the best fighter in the world. Yes, better than Fedor Emelianenko, and perhaps even better than Anderson Silva.
The loss to Matt Serra notwithstanding, St-Pierre has put together an impressive string of victories that is unrivaled by anyone else in the sport in terms of the level of competition he's faced. B.J. Penn, Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes — all are considered the cream of the welterweight crop, and GSP has dispatched them with brilliant ease.
Which leads us to Alves. Alves is a huge welterweight who basically goes into the cage at about the same weight as a light heavyweight. St-Pierre has packed on about 15 pounds of muscle over the past year, size he's used effectively in his last few fights, but he'll still be smaller than the Alves by a considerable margin.