When former heavyweight champion Frank Mir (16-8) squares off against Alistair Overeem (36-13-1) Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Prudential Center in a supporting card fight at UFC 169, the MMA world will be focused on this important battle.
Instead of this being for a chance to fight for the heavyweight title, these two former elite fighters are trying to save their jobs. Mir has lost three straight bouts and Overeem was destroyed by both Antonio Silva and Travis Browne in back-to-back fights.
The winner of this fight will begin the march back into championship contention, and the loser will be one step closer to an early retirement.
Here is all the vital viewing and betting information for UFC 169 and a full preview of this heavyweight fight.
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
When: Saturday, Feb 1 at 10 p.m. EST
Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
|UFC 169 Betting Information|
|Weight Class||Fighter 1||Odds||Fighter 2||Odds||Prediction|
|Bantamweight||Renan Barao (c)||-280||Urijah Faber||+220||Barao via TKO|
|Featherweight||Jose Aldo (c)||-650||Ricardo Lamas||+425||Aldo via TKO|
|Heavyweight||Alistair Overeem||-325||Frank Mir||+250||Overeem via Submission|
|Flyweight||Ali Bagautinov||-135||John Lineker||+105||Lineker via Decision|
|Lightweight||Jamie Varner||-155||Abel Trujillo||+125||Varner via Decision|
|Source: Bovada. (c) denotes champion|
Mir vs. Overeem Preview and Prediction
There are few stars in recent MMA history as disappointing as Overeem. Heralded as one of the next big faces of the sport, he was signed by the UFC after a storied kickboxing career and dominating the ranks of Pride and Strikeforce.
After beating Brock Lesnar and earning a shot at then-heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Overeem was suspended for failing a random drug test. Since returning from that suspension, he has been knocked out twice and has looked like a slower version of the fighter many believed would eventually win the title.
As if a sign of mercy, Dana White and the matchmakers have given Overeem the chance to prove he deserves a spot on the roster by beating heavyweight gatekeeper Mir. The former champion is a shell of the championship contender he once was, and three straight losses have serious doubts surrounding how much longer he can go in the Octagon.
Both men have their backs against the wall. Something must give.
Mir is the more likable of these two fighters, but at 34 years old and with plenty of damage from years and years of fighting in the UFC’s heavyweight division—he debuted in the company on Nov. 2, 2001—Overeem should win this matchup.
Using his heavy striking and elite kicks, Overeem must keep Mir at a distance and force this fight to stay standing up. The challenger is a much better wrestler, and Mir will punish Overeem if he gains the top position.
With the kicks forcing Mir to think twice about shooting for the takedown, the heavy hands of Overeem will knock his opponent down. That’s when his submission skills will kick in, and Mir will be in serious trouble.
Mir’s anti-submission form has never been perfect, and when Overeem finds the opening needed to lock in a rear-naked choke or a guillotine, he won’t miss his opportunity.
Predicted Winner: Overeem via Second-Round Submission.
*Stats via UFC.com. Betting information via Bovada.lv.