Frank Mir embarks on this challenge coming out of arguably the most impressive victory of his career which saw him overcoming adversity to defeat Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira in stunning and brutal fashion. “Cigano” enters the bout riding a dominant nine fight win streak with eight of his nine victories being fought in the octagon.
In asking these two men about their upcoming encounter, nothing out of the ordinary transpired as both men expressed an expected confidence and eagerness that is commonly showcased by most fighters during the prefight period.
An interesting part of the conference call was found in the topic of weight, which was brought up to Mir and co-main event headliner, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. In asking Mir about his weight for the upcoming fight, one of the interviewers noted that Mir seemed to regularly adjust his weight in accordance to his opponent, bulking up for behemoth sized wrestlers, and asked him what he expected to weigh in at for his fight with Dos Santos. Mir responded with, “Oh it’s close to 255 – 260 – just because I think in the past I did become obsessed with the strength aspect of it. But the more I learn about wrestling – honestly what kind of taught me a lesson was Cain. I watched Cain Velasquez throw Brock around like a rag doll and I was like ‘Well, I’m pretty sure in the weight room Brock could probably put up some impressive numbers but his technique didn’t seem to count against Velasquez.’” “Big Foot” Silva, who mentioned coming in lighter for his fight, was also questioned about his weight and asked about the adjustments he made. In his answer, Silva stated, “Cain Velasquez is a lighter and much faster fighter and is diametrically opposed to my strong points which are my strength and my Jiu Jitsu, so I try to come in a little bit lighter to be able to counter his speed and his lightness. I think that will be favorable to me.”
The responses given by the two fighters in regards to their weight are tantalizing because they allude to the rise of a smaller heavyweight. The heavyweight division has always been notable for the flexibility their fighters have in adjusting their weight. The larger gap difference offers heavyweight fighters a greater freedom and control in choosing how big or heavy they wish to enter their fights. Where, arguably, a positive correlation used to exist between size and success, the comments given by Mir and Silva hint at the growing transition towards a smaller heavyweight frame. Likewise, the recent success of smaller heavyweights, such as Junior Dos Santos, also aid in reinforcing this growing sentiment. Whether or not this trend exists or holds legitimacy, however, may just very well be discovered at UFC 146.