Since his brutal loss at UFC 100, Frank Mir has been borderline obsessed with beating UFC Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar.
But at UFC 111, Mir faces a man who he believes to be even more dangerous in Colorado, native and undefeated contender Shane Carwin in what could be the most explosive fight the UFC has seen in months.
The fight, which will take place on Saturday night at 10 pm in Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center, is scheduled for five rounds because it is for the Interim Heavyweight Title, but most MMA fans think it’s pretty much inevitable this time around that either Mir or Carwin is going down hard.
In his last bout Mir showed improved power and striking in a big win over feared striker Cheick Kongo by rear-naked choke.
Mir has also been power lifting harder than ever in an attempt to put himself in the same stratosphere as huge heavyweights like Carwin and Lesnar.
He’s done a great job of packing on muscle, and it shows. However, it doesn’t help sports betting fans’ confidence when they see Mir deadlifting the same weight that Carwin power cleaned in their UFC Primetime preview show.
Carwin (11-0 MMA record) has carried around more weight than Mir for much longer, and despite the likely close weigh-in numbers between the two, Carwin will have a definite strength and wrestling advantage.
Even so, Mir (13-4) is a decent favorite at -155 to +125 for Carwin, the underdog, going in to Saturday’s title fight.
That’s because Mir is more famous, talks a good game, and has the experience in big fights and jiu-jitsu that Carwin lacks.
Carwin should be able to power out of most submission attempts, however. He was able to get up after Gabriel Gonzaga cornered him on the ground at UFC 96 through sheer power before knocking Gonzaga out, and Gonzaga is as good or better on the mats as Mir according to many fans.
All it takes for Carwin to win is one well-placed shot from his freakishly large hands to put just about anyone in MMA down and/or out, and Carwin will look for the big shot all night against Mir.
Mir’s striking has definitely improved, but his quickness is not going to be an issue for Carwin, and Carwin has the power to come out on top in most exchanges.
Carwin may not be the UFC betting favorite going in, but with his power and his history of winning every single fight early in the first round in his career, his history is too strong to ignore in this one. Mir is improving every day, but the fact of the matter is that Carwin is a larger, more powerful fighter and those are never bad attributes to bet on.
UFC 111 Betting Pick: Shane Carwin (+125).