Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is set to take on 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic tonight at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mir and “Cro Cop” have both stumbled since reaching those heights but are still considered as being two of the more dangerous heavyweight fighters competing. It is Mir, though, who has had the more consistent performances recently; something that the Las Vegan credits to “Cro Cop’s” lack of experience inside of a cage.
“Being inside of the cage really exploits a lack of wrestling,” Mir said. “If you have a weakness in wrestling, you’re gonna have a problem winning consistently. Anybody can catch anybody at this level, but guys like Chael Sonnen, Jon Fitch, GSP, Rashad Evans, those guys consistently win because of their wrestling base. Cro Cop with a striking base is inherently gonna have problems. I think he’s still the same fighter. But when he came over here he had a problem adjusting because of the wrestling and the cage. The things that made Mirko dangerous though, his striking, he still possesses. It’s just that his weaknesses are exploited more in the Octagon.”
Mir’s hypothesis could hold some water, as many PRIDE veterans struggled in their early outings in the UFC Octagon. Tonight will tell how much adjusting “Cro Cop” has made inside the cage and could provide a glimpse as to how much either man has left to offer in their MMA careers.