Frank Mir And UFC 100: The chance of a lifetime to represent MMA values at their best


UFC 100 is here, and so is Frank Mir’s chance of a lifetime to represent MMA values at their best  in the much-anticipated David versus Goliath re-match with putative title-holder, Brock Lesnar (3-1-0). (Check out the Yahoo countdown to  UFC 100. Click on the video player for the pre-fight previews.)

At about 30% versus a whopping 70% for Lesnar,  very few bettors are giving Mir much of a chance of kicking Lesnar’s butt and pulling off another upset,  UFC 81 style. But that’s really neither here nor there where hard-core  MMA fans are concerned.

Mir of the Gods (right) vs The Brock: A possible thriller in the making.

Mir of the Gods (right) vs The Brock in UFC 100 at the Mandalay Bay on July 11, 2009: A possible thriller in the making following the electrifying seconds of UFC 81.

Win Place Or Show: All Mir has to do is come in the best shape of his life and represent MMA the way Randy Couture represented it at UFC 91.  What that means is that,  win or lose,  Mir can still show the world what the heart, mind and soul of a tried-and-true  MMA pugilist is all about; namely drop-dead skill unencumbered by presumptions of  force. This approach calls for a different kind of approach …. A different kind of method. (A page from Lyoto Machida‘s book could perhaps be helpful, but we can’t say for sure.)

Of Mixed Martial Arts and Pachyderms: If there ever was an elephant-in-the-room question, it is simply this: Who is best suited to carry the UFC banner into a post-Liddell world? Or put another way: Who is best suited to be one of the poster boys, not just for UFC, but MMA at large? In certain ways  this question  is bigger than who is gonna win this hyped-up tournament, right up there with the need to split the heavyweight division so that size does not become the  inordinate factor in determining who wins or loses.

Our no-brainer vote goes with Frank Mir. Why? Well, he has the skills, smarts and spirit of what MMA is all about for starters.  Which leads us to believe that beyond MMA pugilism, Mir has a future as an MMA commentator, the wry trash talking schtick notwithstanding.  Brock Lesnar is a contender, but he still has a long way to go before he, pound-for-pound, starts matching the mettle of fighters like Mir and Couture et al.

“(Brock Lesnar) wants to smash me to smithereens and put his fist down my throat, which I understand. But I want to choke him unconscious until he does the fish on the ground.” Frank Mir mouthing off about UFC 100 at the Arnold Classic 2009 Expo.  Oi vei!

But the beauty of UFC 100 is that beyond representin’,  Mir  could pull off an upset of Lesnar by yet another submission. He just has to find a way to weather the initial barrage that Lesnar may unleash on him. If Mir can find a way to inflict punishing leg kicks on Lesnar’s without being grounded and pounded, then he will have a tool that may just win him the fight. Without full leg power and balance, Lesnar’s explosiveness in the stand-up game would not be possible. But the strategy is fraught with all kinds of dangers for Mir as UFC 81 demonstrated. The moment Mir tried to kick Lesnar’s leg, he got grounded and pounded almost into oblivion. Most fighters tend to leave themselves open to immediate counter-attack not to mention momentary loss of balance in average kick situations. Lyoto Machida has a way to deal with this. Firstly, he delivers his kicks from way out of the strike zone. And secondly he employs tremendous speed and retracts his leg immediately upon impact to regain instant balance.

Mir’s other vulnerability lies in possibly getting caught by one of Lesnar’s iron fists and losing his wits. The Lesnar right hand, that knocked Heath Herring on his ass and tumbled him like a bowling pin,  is still awe-inspiring in its power, speed and sinewy reach. Check the slow motion replay of that blow and you will become an instant believer in how dangerous Lesnar can be on his feet. Notice how his feet for the perfect spring-board for that reach. It’s almost as if Herring didn’t have the time to block that right hand or get out of the way.

Mir will be particularly vulnerable in the average  ground-and-pound situation because of Lesnar’s amazing strength. This is why Mir needs  tremendous  strength to be able to wiggle out of  dangerous mount situations Heath Herring-style. Mir nearly lost UFC 81 when Lesnar took him down at will and started raining those knuckled bricks upon his head. The video is still a thriller to watch.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wunderkind, Frank Mir.

The sangfroid of a chessmaster & stealth of an anaconda - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wunderkind and all round Mr. Nice Guy, Frank Mir: The Nogueria fight proved that he is no softie when it comes to decking formidable opponents on cue. On the side, UFC & Dana White could use his candid & perceptive style of fight analysis.

Endgame Scenarios: Do not get us wrong. We think Mir will fight a nervy,  smart fight and never fall into the trap of trying to out-Brock Brock Lesnar:  i.e. rushing him Tank Abott style or trying to land a Liddell-style haymaker. Beyond his own strength and conditioning,  Mir is gonna need a couple of mistakes on the part of Lesnar to open the door for him. And given Lesnar’s  inexperience, there is a good chance that he will open that door once or twice. (While on the subject we here at Cyberaxis would give a lot to find out what kind of a chin Lesnar has on that thick neck of his. A well placed blow, right on the button like the  shot that  brought down Gonzaga will answer that question in a Las Vegas second.  But we digress.  Mir ain’t no Carwin and Lesnar ain’t no Gonzaga.)

Lesnar’s strategic challenges  are not as diminutive as they may appear at first. The question of the night is, does he rush Mir and bounce him off the octagon  floor the way he did Heath Herring  at the beginning of  UFC 87 or does he settle for feeling him out until a great attack  opportunity presents itself? If he settles for the rope-a-dope or odd mount fight that he had with Herring, our money is on Frank Mir to put a sneaky kibosh on the Brock’s ass . Short of Lesnar making some stupid mistake in the first round, Mir’s best strategy beyond inflicting punishing leg kicks, would to evade or smother Lesnar’s power in the earlier rounds and then moving in on him like an anaconda. Yep. Lesnar does need choking, before being relegated to the Butterbean realm of the super heavyweight division.

Skill Over Size: Frank Mir puts the kibosh on Brock Lesnar in UFC 81 and temporarily quietens the waters roiled by Brock Lesnar's fast tracked ascension to heavyweight championship.

Skill Over Size: Frank Mir puts the kibosh on Brock Lesnar in UFC 81 and temporarily quietens the waters roiled by Brock Lesnar's fast tracked ascension to heavyweight championship.

See update to this story under “UFC 100 Postmortem” below. The full video of the fight can for the time being be located at regretfulmorning.com here.

Appendices:

The Trouble With Frank Mir: Divergent ways of dealing with post fight trauma (Cyberaxis) – Brand New Post -

Frank Mir needs to learn to keep his mouth shut (Cyberaxis)

Lesnar vs Carwin in UFC 106: The next step in the ascent of Brock Lesnar (Cyberaxis)

UFC 100 Post-mortem: Brock Lesnar pummels Frank Mir into a bloody mess (Full video – while it lasts) (Cyberaxis)

Why UFC 104 with Machida vs Jackson would have eclipsed UFC 100 (Cyberaxis)

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

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11 responses to “Frank Mir And UFC 100: The chance of a lifetime to represent MMA values at their best

  1. I don’t think Frank Mir’s win over Brock Lesnar was a fluke. I believe he will beat him again. I can’t wait to see the fight this weekend.

    • I hope you are right, but I seriously doubt it. The strength and weight difference is just too much in this case. But a win by Mir might just begin to persuade people that the first win was perhaps not a fluke. Correspondingly, a loss by Lesnar would destroy his aura of invincibility. If you go strictly by the odds, the expectations for Mir are pretty low. So there is a sense in which Brock Lesnar has way more to lose (if he loses) than Frank Mir.

      The Editor – Cyberaxis

      (Remember the words of Chaim Bertman,
      “In the venom, is a whisper of the antidote.”)

  2. Comparing Lesnar to Butterbean is retarded.

  3. This was ole Frankie boy’s comeback fight against Big Dumb Brock. It was meant to show that Mir was back; the same Mir who broke that moron, Tim Slyvia’s arm. The fight however proved that Brock was more dominant than we had originally thought. He came ready to exact revenge for his early loss against Frank and he did it by nearly pounding his face into the mat. Lesnar had his eye on the belt, and he was willing to do anything to hold onto it, including acting like the uncaged, rabid dog that we all knew this jackass was.

  4. How can you compare Brock Lesnar to Butterbean. Isn’t Butterbean fat and old. I mean come on, I know they are both stupid, but there is a big difference between the two of them, isn’t there?

  5. I have been following your posts for a while now. All I can say
    is they are great. I look forward to reading more from you.

  6. You have to respect the MMA skills and experience Mir brings to the table.Coupled with his size and striking, I’d put mir up against just about anyone. But for Frank to think he was anything but lucky to win his first fight with Lesner…Please. Brock Lesner took Mir to the mat at will and was using Franks head to moisturize his gloves. Frank has mad martial arts skills, learned over years and years, but frank can’t learn to be any bigger or stronger.

    Brock however has more strength and power now than anyone in the UFC and he can learn more martial arts as he goes and get better and better. A Brock Lesnar with mad MMA skills will be unbeatable for a decade.

    Mir got knocked down on his ass with Brock’s first explosive punch in the first fight. Frank offered nothing in the first or second fight and was completely dominated. Frank lucked into that leg-bar in the first fight.

    Poor Frank, talking all that shit about how Brock should be worrying before that second fight. Instead he got spanked and embarrassed in that fight. His head looked like a cabbage patch doll. I don’t think Brock even got hit in the face. I predict that Frank will never wear that belt as long as Lesnar is around.

    Its cool to be a bad-ass fighter, but smart-ass shit talking is for punks. Why not have some class, be polite, kick their ass, say thank you and take the belt?

    Rick

    • Thank you for your considered comment. You bring out some good points. Lesnar’s ascension to Mixed Martial Arts may just have been the most auspicious step in his ascent because the rigor, discipline and conditioning of MMA has just turned him into the most imposing specimen of physicality in MMA today – which is something he never really had to do in more pure, rigorous form in WWE pro wrestling. Lesnar, without question, pushes the bounds of physicality in MMA like no other athlete in the history of the sport. His physicality hews more to a raw Strong-man mold than other circus freak shows before him.

      It’s not just the mass and muscularity, but how that mass and muscularity is distributed. His domination of opponents in ground-and-pound situations is no accident. His upper body strength, not to mention solid core, turns his opponents into virtual tin cans in the jaws of an industrial compactor. Mir and a couple of others before him were exhibit one.

      Be that as it may, he needs to improve and improve his game fast if he plans on reigning for a decade because the strength and power gap is easy to close, especially if and when the weight classes are redrawn with guys like Lesnar occupying either a super heavyweight or a re-defined heavyweight class. See the article in progress on UFC 106 with Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin via the link below:

      http://cyberaxis.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/lesnar-vs-carwin-in-ufc-106-the-next-step-in-the-ascent-of-brock-lesnar/

      The Editor – Cyberaxis
      (Remember the words of Chaim Bertman,
      “In the venom, is a whisper of the antidote.”)

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