Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir
This Saturday, Bellator 198 features the next phase in the Heavyweight Grand Prix with Fedor Emelianenko facing off against Frank Mir. This is a marquee heavyweight battle between two legends. It’s like the mid-2000’s UFC vs. Pride, but in modern day Bellator. This fight is coming 12 years too late in many spectators’ eyes. We’ll see if the statement “better late than never” applies to Saturday nights main event. We’ve done a breakdown of this fight on the recent MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast. But has my opinion has altered slightly since that episode broadcasted?
If you’ve listened to the podcast you should know I’m the proverbial “wet blanket” on the MMATorch team. So, let’s begin with the negatives of these competitors.
Frank Mir is up first. For starters it’s been over two years since Mir has even competed. In a fight against Mark Hunt it was Mir who looked out of shape. Honestly, “out of shape” is putting it generously. Mir looked bad. He moved around slowly and seemed to have gained a lot of weight.
With these factors at play Mark Hunt was able to score the walk off knockout in three minutes. After that disappointing loss Mir was suspended because of USADA, and he eventually left the UFC.
Now he’s back, and hopefully in better shape.
It’s been three years since Mir has actually won a fight. But that win was an impressive showing back in July 2015. Mir knocked out Todd Duffee with a left hook in the first round. It could be lights out for Fedor if we see that version of Mir again.
Mir’s boxing has dramatically developed as his career has gone on. He’ll need those improved skills, because Fedor loves to trade shots. Brawling is not what Mir is known for. The best weapon at Mir’s disposal is his submission game. Mir has made many opponents tap out in the past. Will Fedor tap out for only the second time in his career?
Like before we’ll start with some negatives for Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor is coming back from a knockout loss as well. In many fans opinion (myself included) Fedor was supposed to win his last fight against Matt Mitrione. However, it turned out to be lights out for “The Last Emperor.”
In the 2000’s, Sports Illustrated named Fedor the top fighter of the decade. Fedor is arguably the greatest MMA fighter to have never competed in the UFC. He’s been too busy slaying giants across the ocean for years. Sure, he doesn’t seem to be the Fedor of the past but he still has that power in his punches. Power is one of the last things to fade away from these veteran fighters.
So, who wins?
The odds have Mir is as the betting favorite. Doesn’t matter, I’ve still got Fedor. Like I said, the power in his hands will bring him the victory. I’m not dismissing Mir’s chances. If Mir’s left hook connects like it did with Duffe that could be the ticket. If this fight goes to the ground the chances for a submission win are there for Mir. We’ll see.
Enjoy this main event and don’t worry about how long this fight took to make. Try not to think about how these two veterans are probably years past their respective primes. This is a dream fight, right? Let’s just hope we don’t have to sit through two gassed out heavyweights spending most of the rounds against the cage in the clinch… Remember, I’m the negative one.
Thanks for reading.
To Be Continued.
– Rick “MMA NERD” Monsey