I feel as if an event of this magnitude could benefit from a badass PRIDE style stage introduction, but is there a stage that could hold all ten of these massive heavyweights at once? Could Bruce Buffer do an appropriate impression of Lenne Hardt? All of these questions are unlikely to be answered tonight, but at least we’ll have some answers to the series of complicated questions that is the UFC heavyweight division. With Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem, and future champion Mark Hunt all out of the picture, who will stake their claim as the #1 contender tonight? And does Frank Mir really stand a chance? And when is Shane Carwin due back?
I don’t have all the answers, but I do think I have a pretty good idea of who wins tonight.
-Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve
There are two possible outcomes in this fight, and only two. Either Struve is going to submit Johnson after tentatively jabbing at him for a few minutes, or Johnson is going to absolutely obliterate Struve. While Pat Barry managed to get Johnson down and tried to work a submission, I’m not sure Struve can do the same. Struve has no wrestling game at all, and he gets opponents to the ground by getting hit by them. Lavar “The Rock” Johnson will lay the Smackdown on Struve and remain the most unlikely UFC success story, if you, ya know, smell what he’s cooking.
-Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario
One of the more intriguing fights on the card, Strikeforce import Shane Del Rosario returns to MMA for the first time since a car accident nearly ended his career. He couldn’t face a more difficult opponent in Miocic, who is one of the best heavyweight prospects in the UFC. I think ring rust proves to be a factor here, and Miocic will just be too much for Del Rosario to handle as the fight wears on. Miocic takes a unanimous decision.
-Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
I can’t imagine many fights that are stylistically worse for Dave Herman. A tall heavyweight who relies on his striking, facing a shorter heavyweight with a granite chin. If Herman gassed against Struve in the first round, having completed a full training camp, how the hell is he going to be able to handle Nelson on short notice? Sure, ‘Big Country’ doesn’t have the best gas tank, but the fat, mulleted, bearded zombie, will just keep coming. Nelson lands an overhand right that blows Herman’s mind, or wins a really ugly, sweaty decision.
-Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
A lot of people have been using the Bigfoot vs. Cormier bout to predict this one, and while it’s a good example of what very well could happen, I think people are underestimating Silva. Silva is not an unintelligent fighter, and you know damn well that he’s been working on his striking defense after that devastating knockout. I think the wrestling of the former champ is the big story here, as he dumps the big man on his back time and time again and uses his ground and pound to finish him early.
-Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir
Frank Mir is more than capable of submitting Junior dos Santos. Let me just put that out there. Is it going to happen? Absolutely not. Mir found himself on queer street after some well placed leather from Big Nog, who, let’s be honest, is not necessarily known for his knockout power. If Junior can let his hands go and connect with one of his oh-so-violent uppercuts, it’s going to be lights out for the unlikely title contender. Fine by me, watching Frank Mir get punched in the face is pretty amusing.
Check out tonight’s UFC 146 live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm ET, with the preliminary card preceding it, of course. Also, don’t be afraid to leave some feedback below. Tell us who you think is going to win, and why.
Enjoy the fights.