(In defense of Dana’s flip flop, who could say no to that face?)
By Josh Hutchinson
As some of you may remember, I recently attempted to make a case for why Alistair Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos had to happen at UFC 146, testosterone-levels be damned. And though that fight didn’t quite pan out, we’ll instead be treated to an even better fight that evening in Frank Mir vs. Junior Dos Santos (assuming that no other weird shit happens beforehand). That’s right, I said even better. “But you just tried telling us why the UFC needs to keep Overeem vs. Dos Santos,” I hear you screaming. To that extent I have two retorts. The first being that apparently my hypocrisy knows no bounds. The second being that a quick look at Frank Mir vs. any of the other potential replacements makes the case loud and clear. Take for instance the man that Mir is officially replacing…
Yes, Overeem and Dos Santos would have been an epic slugfest, with a near-guarantee of someone being knocked stupid, but if you look at the quality of opponents the two men have faced in recent years, the nod clearly goes to Mir. Since moving up to heavyweight full time, Overeem has compiled a record of 12-1-1, which while sounding impressive, is actually rather deceiving. The majority of the fighters he beat in those twelve wins resemble less of a contender list, and more of a “MMA Fighters: Where Are They Now?” list. I of course am talking about guys like Paul Buentello, Tony Sylvester, James Thompson, Brett Rogers, you get the point. Frank Mir on the other hand, has been wading through the UFC’s heavyweight elites since UFC 34 back in 2001, picking up big name wins like Tim Sylvia (before he was a joke), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2x), Cheick Kongo, and others. Besides there is still a great chance of seeing someone get knocked the hell out. We all know Dos Santos likes to do it, and if you ask guys like Cro Cop and the aforementioned Nogueria, Mir likes to dabble as well.
It’s easy to understand why so much attention was focused on Hunt after Overeem shit the bed. The man is a world renowned kickboxer with most of his MMA wins coming via KO/TKO, and since he is currently riding a three-fight win streak, he would have been a great replacement for the “stand and exchange till someone drops” fight we’d been looking forward to. Now I mean this with the utmost respect, but had this fight happened, it would have been nothing more than feeding Dos Santos a quick victory. I know, I know, blasphemy, but hear me out: Six out of Hunt’s seven MMA losses have come in the form of a submission. Since Dos Santos has been knocking fools out left and right, people have a tendency to forget that he also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the Nogueiras. Would Hunt have a punchers chance? Absolutely, but you can damn well bet that if Dos Santos was rocked in the stand-up he’d move to Plan B on the mat. While that would most likely spell disaster for Hunt, it won’t be a problem for Mir.
After Velasquez and Dos Santos first squared off, a lot questions arose. Was Cain hit with a lucky punch? Is Dos Santos’s striking impossible to deal with? Why the hell were we so excited for UFC on Fox in the first place? All questions that at this time are impossible to answer. I wholeheartedly believe Velasquez should get another shot at the heavyweight title, but not immediately. It’s not like we’re talking about a five-round Maynard vs. Edgar-esque draw here. Being trounced in roughly a minute hardly warrants an rematch. Let Velasquez pick up a win or two, then throw him back in the mix.
Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, ManBearPig, etc.
(Though in all honesty, I think ManBearPig may have the reach on Dos Santos.)
Have you guys ever day-dreamed so hard that shit just spiraled out of control? I’m talking about starting off with a normal one like, say, beating the guy in front of you in line to death with his own shoes for taking the time to write a three-dollar check, and then just letting your mind wander. When unregulated, the human brain goes to some very weird places. Before you know it your brain has set up a fantastical universe where you not only put that check writing asshole in his place, but also the cashier that always takes a little too long to count back change, the bully you had in high school, and a squad of no less than 20 ninjas, before carrying off a beautiful blonde for days worth of mind numbing sex.
Well that’s the kind of thing the MMA world did when left to its own devices in regards to a replacement for Overeem. I must have heard twenty different suggestions, all as horrible as the one before it. At this point in his career there is a snowman’s chance in hell of Fedor taking this fight. Hendo is more than content to wait for his light heavyweight shot. Werdum is guaranteed to fight in Brazil next, and the rest of the suggestions were so damn stupid I refuse to even address them. But hey, it’s fun to dream.
So Nation, we now have a fight between Mir and Dos Santos, for better or worse. Will Frank get knocked out as fast as Velasquez? Will we finally see Junior’s ground game tested? Most importantly, who will walk away the champ? Tune in to UFC 146 on May 26th to find out.