LAS VEGAS – Former WWE and NCAA champion Brock Lesnar and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will meet in a heavyweight bout at UFC 81 on Saturday at Mandalay Bay. Here is what each man must do to win:
Keys to victory
1. Close the distance: Mir figures to be the more schooled striker and has a bigger reach. Lesnar needs to be in close where his power and his wrestling can become factors.
1. Make him pay: If Lesnar rushes Mir wildly, Mir has to land a solid combination to punches to make Lesnar wary of his power.
2. Side control: Lesnar has to be wary of Mir's submissions. When he takes him down, get to side control to dole out punishment.
2. Survive the onslaught: Mir needs to get past the initial Lesnar burst and make it a long fight.
3. Make contact: There are those who question if Mir will quit when the going's tough. Lesnar should fight physically to make Mir as uncomfortable as possible.
3. Find the opening: Lesnar only has one pro fight, so his submission defense is considered suspect. Mir should constantly be looking for an opening for a submission.
Rating the fighters
A comparison of Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir
Mir, though, should be more skilled in the standup.
Lesnar is a former NCAA heavyweight champion wrestler.
Shouldn't be a big factor, but much is unknown about Lesnar's game.
Lesnar's dream is to take Mir down and then pound him out.
Mir knows Lesnar will be able to take him down almost at will.
This is another unknown area about Lesnar.
Mir is one of the best in the world.
Lesnar looks in superb shape.
Lesnar is freaky strong.
Lesnar won't be awed by the moment.
Lesnar is a superb wrestler and is very powerful, but much is unknown about his MMA game. Mir needs to be composed and not allow Lesnar and the moment to overwhelm him. If he can survive the opening onslaught, expect Mir to pull the slight upset and win by submission.