While exiting the Octagon last Saturday after his disappointing performance at UFC 111, Frank Mir knew he made a mistake. No, he didn’t use poor technique or leave an arm exposed that that led to his lopsided loss, his mistake was one in strategy. In Shane Carwin, Mir fought an opponent who was 11-0, but perhaps more importantly, all of Carwin’s fights had ended in the first round. And therein, Mir saw his opportunity – to make Carwin fight beyond his comfort zone and to test him in the second and third rounds. With this in mind, Mir seemed content on letting Carwin push the action early in the first round, even confidently nodding to his corner while eating some leather. Obviously, this turned out to be a big mistake. To Carwin’s credit, he capitalized on this, and, because of that, now holds the “Interim” UFC Heavyweight belt and is slated for a monstrous showdown with Brock Lesnar.
Mir’s strategy was exposed when Shane Carwin employed his own strategy – the same one he’s used so many times before – to work his opponent against the cage and drop some bombs. Like a Tootsie Roll pop, it took exactly 3 licks to get to the center at which point Mir’s legs gave out. More blows followed to a fetal-prone Mir, eerily reminiscent of Mir’s ugly loss to Brock Lesnar, but the damage was already done.
Although we still don’t know if Carwin can survive beyond the first round, we may find out as he’s slated to face Brock Lesnar in the near-future to unify the titles. Lesnar was Octagon-side to witness the brief fight, and started the hype machine early stating in a post-fight interview, “It was a good fight. He’s still wearing a belt that’s a make-believe belt. It’s all good. I got the championship belt. That’s the bottom line.”