At UFC 167, two men will have the most important fight of their lives. Those two men are Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem. These two men have been widely known for their skill and championship form in the past, but will now be fighting for a spot on the UFC roster.
Two years ago, if the names Mir and Overeem had been linked together, many people would be expecting big things from the two. The winner may have even been linked to a title shot. These days, things have changed for the once dominant Overeem and Mir. Both men are coming off back-to-back losses. For Mir, he is coming off three losses in a row. The streak is arguably the worst either man has ever seen.
Overeem was one of the most hyped fighters from the imported Strikeforce roster and was seen as one of the most violent strikers in MMA. He entered the UFC on a 10-fight winning streak, not including a no contest in 2008 to Mirko Cro Cop in Dream. He then beat Brock Lesnar into retirement in his first outing in the UFC.
Since the single-round destruction of Lesnar, Overeem has come up short twice. He showed no respect for Antonio Silva and ended up getting knocked out in a fight what he was only minutes away from winning. He then fell victim to a front kick from Travis Browne. None of us can forget the steroid issue that caused Overeem his chance at the heavyweight title, which was yet another setback for the former champion.
For Mir, life inside the octagon has almost come to a complete stop. After getting a shot at dos Santos’ title because of the aforementioned steroid problem with Overeem, Mir dropped back-to-back fights to Strikeforce imports.
Mir was decisively beaten by former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier in April, where we saw Mir get trapped against the cage for three rounds. He then lost by a controversial TKO at the hands of Josh Barnett.
The fight will be an up hill battle for Mir, whose athleticism has decreased over time. Overeem will be the quicker opponent and will have solid, violent muay thai strikes. Mir’s submission game is still top notch, which gives him a chance if the fight goes to the ground. It is just hard to see a scenario where Overeem allows Mir to take him down, which ultimately means the next fight may be the last time we see Mir inside the octagon.
Anthony Cloud is a MMA Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @TheAceCloud