UFC 130 Fight Card Breakdown: Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson

Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (14-5) and Roy Nelson (15-5) will meet on the pay per view portion of the UFC 130 card from MGM's Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

Mir comes into the bout off a KO win over the legendary Mirko Filipovic at UFC 119. Despite the dramatic third round finish, the fight up to that point had been anything but entertaining and fans and UFC president Dana White were vocal in their displeasure. Previous to that, Mir was crushed by Shane Carwin at UFC 111. He'll be looking to get back on the contender track in this fight.

Nelson is coming off a loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 117 in August. He'd racked up two straight UFC KO wins over Stefan Struve and Brendan Schaub going into that fight, but after getting pretty much worked over by dos Santos, Nelson fell off the contender wagon.

Both fighters are primarily known for their grappling. Unfortunately for Mir, one of the most dangerous submission fighters in the history of the heavyweight division, Nelson possibly has the better Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills. The two met in a grappling match in 2003 and Nelson outpointed Mir.

In an MMA context, Mir tends to be more of a guard player who aggressively hunts for submissions off his back. Nelson likes to get top control and punish his opponents with ground and pound. 

As is frequently the case when two BJJ masters meet in the cage, the fight will likely be decided on the feet. Both men have improved their striking dramatically in recent years. Despite each having a few KOs on their resume, their striking styles are a study in contrasts. Mir has a technically polished style, albeit a tad stiff. He's had the most success using his punching to hurt opponents and then follow up with a submission against a stunned foe.

Nelson on the other hand has a powerful right hand and he will work to apply it to Mir's jaw and brainpan. Against dos Santos, Nelson showed admirable chin and heart as well as decent defensive skills but he was outclassed. He may have better luck against Mir, who's never been a fighter who did well standing and trading strikes for extended periods of time, particularly in the clinch.

Here's the breakdown: look for Nelson to dominate with sheer punching power and will to win.

Aspect Mir Points Nelson Advantage
Range Fighting



Boxing Improving Big Right Nelson
Kickboxing Formal Limited Mir 
Wrestling Not Great Good Enough Nelson
Clinch Fighting        
Dirty Boxing Eh 1 Tuff Enuff Nelson
Thai Clinch Effective 1 Ok Mir
Throws/Trips So So 1 Decent Nelson
 Ground Fighting



 Positional Control Very Good 1 Excellent Good Nelson
 Top Game Very Good 1 Very Good Tie
 Bottom Game Dangerous 1 Good Mir
 Submissions Creative 1 Technical Tie
Intangibles Sometimes Wilts 1 Savvy Nelson
Overall Former Champ 3/6 Contender Nelson

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