Heavyweights Take Center Stage at UFC 146 – Our Preview and Picks
UFC 146 takes place on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and can be seen on pay-per-view. It’s being called the “biggest” card in UFC history. Not necessarily because of the importance of the fights…although there should be some doozies…but because the main card is made up of nothing but heavyweights.
So it is literally the “biggest” lineup ever. The biggest fight of the night will be the main event for the UFC Heavyweight Championship between current champ Junior Dos Santos and former champ Frank Mir. Check out my preview and predictions below. If you’re putting any money on these fights, it’s usually a safe bet to NOT go with my picks.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir
This will be the first title defense for Junior Dos Santos. The 28 year-old Brazilian is widely regarded as one of, if not the best boxer in the world in the heavyweight division. It took Dos Santos only 1:04 to take the belt from Cain Valasquez back in November. But he will definitely have his hands full against Mir. Frank Mir is a 2-time former UFC Heavyweight champ and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. In his last fight, Mir defeated Minotauro Nogueira with a kimura submission, breaking Nogueira’s arm in the process. Without question, Mir has the advantage on the ground and when it comes to experience…but Dos Santos has a huge advantage in the striking department. Both of these men like to go for the finish in the first round, so this could me a quick fight.
My prediction: Junior Dos Santos wins by TKO in the second round.
Antonio Silva vs. Cain Valasquez
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva makes his first appearance in the UFC, taking on former heavyweight champ Cain Valasquez. Both men are actually coming off defeats, and are looking to get into title contention. Silva is a well-rounded fighter, proficient in all aspects. Valasquez should have a slight advantage when it comes to wrestling and striking.
My prediction: Valasquez wins by TKO (ground and pound) in the third round.
Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
Dave “Pee Wee” Herman is an Indiana native and graduate of Indiana University. He has plenty of fighting experience (21-3), but only two previous fights in the UFC. He has great hands and would love to stand and bang with Nelson. Roy “Big Country” Nelson may not look like a fighter, but he is one of the toughest guys in the heavyweight division. He’s got a great chin and is hard to knock out, and he has amazing BJJ skills. Nelson has a ton of experience and is always a tough opponent. This one should be an exciting slug-fest.
My prediction: Herman wins by decision.
Shane Del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic
I'll be honest, I don’t know a thing about these guys…so your guess is as good as mine.
Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve
This has the potential to be the fight of the night, and the potential to end in about :30. Lavar “Big” Johnson may not have the most creative nickname, but who’s gonna say something about it. Johnson just fought back on May 5th when he absolutely destroyed Pat Berry. Johnson is a beast with crazy power and a gnarly scar on his stomach. Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve doesn’t look like a heavyweight…until he stands next to someone and you realize he weighs 238 pounds and stands nearly 7-feet tall! It’s no secret what he wants to do in each fight…take you down and submit you. These guys couldn’t be more different. Their “skill breakdown” looks like this: Johnson – 79% striking…Struve – 79% submissions.
My prediction: Johnson wins by KO in the first round.