Frank Mir betting on Mark Hunt against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 because Lesnar “doesn’t like to be hit”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Frank Mir got beat up by Brock Lesnar in their rematch back at UFC 100 in 2009, and he got knocked out by Mark Hunt in his most recent fight in March. With those two men facing one another at UFC 200, Mir’s got a unique perspective on the matchup, and he chimed in on the latest edition of his “Phone Booth Fighting” podcast this week.

Mir gives the edge to Hunt in the matchup, and thinks Lesnar’s past reactions to getting hit will not bode well for him on July 9.

“I’m betting on Mark,” Mir said (transcribed by “He’s been in there more consistently the last couple of years against really game opponents. I think that once their strengths match up against each other, it’s a hard takedown. You’ve never really seen anybody come through and just blast Mark onto his butt in the first minute or two of a match.

“…[Brock] doesn’t like to be hit. Not that anybody likes to be hit, but Brock for whatever reason has shown much more of a dramatic response to the negativity of those shots. To the point where he’s not asleep, it isn’t like he got knocked out, he’s not getting dropped, but he just turns his face away from adversity. That’s a bad thing when fighting Mark Hunt, who again I think is one of the hardest punchers in the division.”

Mir does concede a path to victory for Lesnar, and understands some of the past flaws that have led Hunt to ten career losses.

“If he is able to take Hunt down and control him, Hunt has been known to get tired on the ground and get fatigued,” Mir said. … “It really comes down to who is able to get their game plan.”

Penick’s Analysis: It’s not a new criticism of Lesnar, but that doesn’t make it wrong, either. Both Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem beat Lesnar in the first round in large part because he reacted poorly to early strikes. If he gets hit by Hunt and crumples up, it’s over. If he can take a hit, drive through to take the fight to the ground, and can keep it there, he has a good chance. It’s all on how he reacts when he eventually gets hit, because he’s more than likely to get hit.

[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]

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