UFC 169 Fight Breakdown: Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir

The UFC will come at us this Saturday from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. UFC 169 will feature two world title fights. In the main event Renan Barão will look to defend his bantamweight title against Urijah Faber, who he previously beat to win the interim belt at UFC 149.

Then in the co-main event Barão’s training partner, Jose Aldo, will try and defend his featherweight title for the eighth time, against Ricardo Lamas. Also set to fight on the card are former heavyweight champions Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir.

The fight is a must win for Mir and Overeem, as they are both currently on losing streaks. Overeem has lost his last two fights both by knockout, the former Strikeforce champion hasn’t won a fight since December 2011; where he beat Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut.

Mir is now on a three-fight losing skid, after he was knocked out by Josh Barnatt in his last fight. A loss for either man will most likely lead to a pink slip. Still, the match is an important battle in the heavyweight division, so let’s break down both men’s skills and have a closer look at how they match up.

Striking

Mir’s standup skills are often overlooked due to his high level submission game. Overall Mir is a very talented striker and is very diverse on the feet. He has three knockouts to his name, his most recent came back at UFC 119; where he knocked out kickboxing legend Mirko Cro Cop.

Mir was also the first man to finish Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. With all that said his main downfall is his glass jaw; out of Mir’s eight losses, three have come by KO or TKO.

His opponent is much more experienced in the standup department. Overeem is a former K1 world champion and had 15 wins coming by way of KO or TKO. His last win by strikes came back in his UFC debut in 2011, where he TKO’d former champion Brock Lesnar.

However, it is worth noting that since Overeem was busted for elevated testosterone levels, he has looked a shadow of him former self; both physically and in the cage. This has reflected on his last two fights, as he has consecutively been knocked out for the first time in his career. Overeem has never been able to take punishment, in all, he’s been finished 19 times in his career with strikes.

Overeem is no doubt the better striker, but I also think he has the worst striking defence. For that reason “The Reem” will take it, but by not as much as you might think. 60/40 Overeem.

Wrestling

Both men lack in their wrestling skills. Overeem tends to rely on his strength to defend takedowns and put his opponent on the mat, but he has struggled to do that in his last two fights. “The Reem’s” wrestling ability will no doubt fade later in the fight.

Mir’s wrestling is without doubt the weakest part of his game, but he has faced far better wrestlers in his career. Half of the 34 year olds losses have come to standout wrestlers.

Early on I think “The Reem” will have the slight edge, but if the fight makes it to the second or third round, Mir will have the advantage. This ones 50/50.

Submissions

I think we know who takes this one.

Mir is unquestionably the greatest heavyweight submission artist in the UFC. The former UFC champion holds the record of the most submission wins in the heavyweight division, 8 of his 14 wins in the UFC have finished by submission.

Mir’s last win came by submission at UFC 140, where he snapped the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s arm. The loss was “Big Nog’s” first loss by submission in 44 professional fights.

While Overeem is mostly known for his standup skills, most of his wins have actually come by way of submission. “The Reem” has an impressive 19 wins by submission. His last submission win was against James Thompson, back in 2009.

Another factor to consider is the stamina of both men. Mir has a good gas tank for a heavyweight, while Overeem tends to fade after the first round. If it does go to the ground in the latter stages of the fight, Mir should comfortably be able to pull of a sub. Mir takes this one with ease at 75/25.

Even though I think Mir is the overall more skilled fighter, I can’t see him being able to survive a early barrage from Overeem. But if Mir can drag it into the later rounds, he could just as easily finish “The Reem”. Who do you think will take it on Saturday night?

 

 



9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of falcon4917

    falcon4917

    January 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    My prediction, Overeem walks in beats sh*t out of Mir the end.

  2. Profile photo of MagicMMA

    MagicMMA

    January 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Overeem's skills haven't been the problem. He looked great against Brown and was dominating Silva. It's his mentality and defense he needs to work on. With his non existent chin, he can't afford to get cocky and stalk his opponents like they're defenseless. He keeps saying he is changing his training style and whatnot but until he gets his head straight it will be the same outcome. That said, Mir should be a first round knockout for him

  3. Profile photo of IChokePeople

    IChokePeople

    January 29, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    What they /\ said.

  4. Profile photo of mauromina

    mauromina

    January 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    60-40 in striking is crazy… even if overeems defense is terrible its at least 75-25

    overeem is a k1 champion!

  5. Profile photo of MMAMarco

    MMAMarco

    January 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    The first half of the fight belongs to Alistair if he can finish it with a blitz KO or TKO of Frank Mir. I do agree, however, that should this fight carry on to the late 2nd and 3rd that Frank Mir could very well catch a tired Alistair Overeem. So the question begs, can Frank Mir survive Alistair's Onslaught like Travis Browne did and come back and turn the tables on Alistair.

    • Profile photo of TheXperience

      TheXperience

      January 30, 2014 at 3:22 am

      I dont think anyone else in the division will survive alistairs onslaught like Browne.. in all honesty that fight should've been stopped. A fighter is not supposed to take that kind of damage. it turned out well for Browne but the ref. should've stepped in. there's no way in hell Mir can take that kind of punishment…

    • Profile photo of NateDogg

      NateDogg

      January 30, 2014 at 3:30 am

      I completely agree with you. Should Mir survive that onslaught in the first Round, then he has a good chance of beating Alistair.
      But i think overeem will retire Mir with a vicious first round KO.

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