Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir looked as good tonight against Roy Nelson in Las Vegas as he has in recent memory. Mir took on Big Country in a fight that carries with it future title implications and defeated his fellow Las Vegan as thoroughly as anyone has before.
From start to finish, the story of the fight was the same: Mir fought off any takedown attempts by Nelson and dominated the striking exchanges, landing varied strikes almost at will and hitting his own takedowns when he looked for them. In other words, Mir displayed complete dominance in his bout against Nelson.
The first round set the tone for the bout, with Mir avoiding Nelson’s storied right hand and landing with big knees at every turn. After controlling the action in the striking department, Mir hit a beautiful trip toward the end of the round that he used to establish mount position. Nelson stood to his feet, but it was clear that he would have to make major adjustments in order to turn the tide against Mir.
While Nelson still looked primarily to land his right hand in the second round, a still-surging Mir kept his attack varied, throwing kicks and knees with repeated success. Mir also looked for, and completed, several takedowns in the second, putting Nelson to his back with ease.
Going into the third, it became evident that Nelson would need to get the finish in order to seal the fight and, with his steam running out and Mir’s still rolling strong, it seemed an unlikely prospect. Mir proved that it was by going back to work striking before putting Big Country on the mat again. Mir delivered massive elbows that a grounded Nelson absorbed with superhuman like durability, but he could do little more than absorb the beating that Mir laid on him until the last bell.
With the win, Mir increases his record to 14-5 and greatly strengthens his case as a contender in the heavyweight division. Nelson drops to 15-6 and makes it 0-2 in his last two outings.