UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans
April 21, 2012
UFC Betting Pick: Frank Mir (+415)
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UFC Heavyweight Championship Title Fight: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (-525) vs Frank Mir (+415)
After seeing the UFC betting lines I was amazed to see that Frank Mir (16-5) was such a huge betting underdog. Mir is most likely the best grappling Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in the division, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, a former Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion and has more fights within the UFC than anyone else currently competing in his arena so why is he such a huge betting underdog?
Mir is one of the most well rounded mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC and has fought and taken every type of fighter. He beat MMA and grappling heavyweight Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at his own game at UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida and by TKO at UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008.
Brock Lesnar, a NCAA Division I wrestler and one of the best wrestling heavyweights in the UFC was downed by Mir at UFC 81: Breaking Point, and the striker Cheick Kongo fell to Mir at UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez.
On the other hand, Junior Dos Santos (14-1) is a great fighter with unbelievable boxing skills and has taken apart almost every warrior he has faced. He relies heavily on his hands and overwhelms his opponents with pure technical boxing and striking prowess. We have, however, never seen his ground game (does he have one?!?) and have rarely seen him kick.
If the UFC betting lines were closer together I would put my coin on Dos Santos but the goal of online betting is to make money and going with Mir gives you the best bang for the buck—at +415 placing a $100 on Mir will net you $415 if he comes up victorious. Given the UFC odds and after perusing Mir’s curriculum vitae, a wager on the underdog should more than likely result in a great pay off.
Mir is a well rounded fighter and has the tools to give any fighter a difficult time. He was the Nevada State Wrestling Champion in 1998, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Pires and a NAGA Absolute Division Champion in grappling in 2007. He also trains in no gi with Robert Drysdale who is one of the best grapplers in the world today. Though we have never seen him on the ground, Dos Santos trains with Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira in grappling—the same Nogueira Mir took at UFC 92 and UFC 140—need I say more?
What he lacks on the mats Dos Santos makes up with his highly proficient striking ability—he is both skilled and powerful and his game is nearly dependant on this. He has the know-how to pick Mir apart, however, Mir is so confident on the ground that he will pull guard, jump to guard or even pull half guard to get a hold of Dos Santos’ leg for a leg lock.
Mir’s ability to strike has always been questionable but to be fair he has worked a great deal on his fundamentals of late and has decent boxing skills now. He was able to pick apart highly touted strikers such as Antoni Hardonk, Mirko Filipović and Roy Nelson and should have no problem fending off Dos Santos and closing the distance to trap Dos Santos against the cage for a stall and eventual takedown.
Mir has had some difficulty in the past with extremely strong wrestling based fighters such as Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar where they were able to pin him against the cage for the takedown, however, wrestling is not Dos Santos’ forte.
Bottom Line: I am going with Mir to win this fight—he has a well rounded fight game while Dos Santos does not. Dos Santos has demolished almost every fighter he has faced but has done it solely with his hands.
This is mixed martial arts which incorporates various styles of hand to hand combat of which Dos Santos has shown no skills in except for boxing. I find him to be very one dimensional and this is something I am willing to bet against.
Look for Mir to Submit Dos Santos in the 4th Round
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