Sunday, February 22nd, 2015, is UFC Fight Night – Bigfoot vs Mir! If a free broadcast on FOX Sports 1 isn’t enough incentive for you, here are additional reasons to watch the MMA event tomorrow night.
Six Top-15 World Ranked Fighters
FOX Sports 1’s “UFN” events are rarely the sort of spectacle where fans can witness large numbers of top fighters in action. This event seeks to break the mold, with a well-rounded card that seeks to do more than rely on its main event to impress viewers. Bigfoot vs. Mir features Top-15 heavyweights, lightweights, and a bantamweight for good measure.
Iuri Alcantara is recognized by Today’s Knockout [in solidarity with the rest of the world] as the #8 135lb fighter competing. At 31-5-0-1, his experience is on full display versus Frankie Saenz. The 9-2 newcomer is only 1-0 in the UFC, and I don’t expect he’ll meet Iuri’s par.
At 155lbs, #14 Rustam Khabilov was most recently finished by Benson Henderson. He’s had eight months of rest, and now returns to the octagon to defend his Top-15 seat to Adriano Martins. That man’s only recent loss is to Cowboy Cerrone, and he’s since gone green with a Knockout of the Night victory. This match could very well see a changing of the guard, at least temporarily.
Still at Lightweight, a co-main event that is NOT to be missed! Everyone seems to agree that Michael Johnson is #12 in the world, and that his opponent Edson Barboza is #6. But despite Barboza’s beautiful 15-2 record, the 16-8 Michael Johnson is surging. He’s had three-in-a-row and each of the victories were what we call “clinics” in the fight biz. His jab is one of the nicest in MMA, and he’s got a solid one-two punch combination that really seems to keep his opponents on their heels. Edson Barboza, however, is a leg-kicker extraordinaire. In fact, he’s finished guys with leg kicks. Michael Johnson will need to take a page out of the other Michael Johnson’s book and be quick on his feet, highly defensive, and utilize that jab to slow the oncoming assault. This is a prime candidate for Fight of the Night.
You know the other two. The big boys. A literal giant versus a giant of a man. Bigfoot Silva vs. Frank Mir.
They are Huge
If you haven’t watched the fights in a long time, and you’re considering getting back into them, you’re going to be shocked by the size of these guys. During the 2000s, Heavyweight fighters were seldom larger than 240lbs. Sure, there were sumo wrestler converts and other side-show quality jobbers that made their way into the sport, but today, the heavyweight class is more fit for monsters than men.
Frank Mir’s information slide still reads 240lbs, but that hasn’t been true for a while. He’s muscled up to 260lbs for quite some time now. If I had to mark the date, it would be the entrance of Brock Lesnar into the UFC. Yeah, that man changed a few things.
Bigfoot Silva, on the other hand, is cutting weight to reach the 265-pound limit. Yes. I know. It’s scary big. That’s why his name is Bigfoot. Well… really it’s Antonio, but nobody calls him that. Look at any poster for the event, and you’ll see his nickname donning it instead.
When I watched Bigfoot fight Alistair Overeem it was the closest thing you’ll get to watching comic book super heroes have a fist fight. I won’t promise that sort of entertainment with the crafty Jiu-Jitsu expert Frank Mir in the equation, but even he’s turned simple kimura arm-locks into bone-breaking carnage for viewers.