UFC heavyweight Frank Mir has a lot of respect for the stand-up skills of divisional champion Junior dos Santos. However, when it comes to the Brazilian’s ground-game it’s a different story altogether.
While “Cigano” is primarily known for his boxing, a good portion of the success in Mir’s career has been the result of his BJJ-based arsenal including nine submissions in sixteen total wins. Perhaps most notably in the group of competitors he’s finished is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a legendary fighter with too many tap-outs to his credit to count who also happens to be one of Dos Santos’ grappling coaches. The success against Nogueira is yet another factor adding to Mir’s confidence when it comes to his May 26 match-up with Dos Santos.
“I don’t think it’s any secret – he has no chance of winning the fight if it goes to the ground,” said Mir of Dos Santos in an interview with Inside MMA. “The only time that I’ve ever seen him take a shot is if he’s pretty handily winning the fight and I think he just does it just for maybe a change of pace, to throw something out there. But as far as when you see people engage him, he’s a throw-punches-and-run kind of guy. He doesn’t wanna sit there and get grabbed and taken down and he’s not gonna fight that battle. If he was capable of doing it, we probably would’ve seen it already.”
“Fact is, he avoids (the ground) like it’s poison,” concluded Mir.
Considering the only blemish on Dos Santos’ record came as the result of an Armbar it seems Mir could be on to something though the stoppage occurred nearly five years ago.
Mir-Dos Santos will face off in headlining action at UFC 146. The first episode of a UFC Primetime series documenting the build up to their bout airs tonight at 11:00 PM EST on FX, possibly giving viewers a glimpse of exactly how concerned Dos Santos is regarding Mir’s submission-oriented attack.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC