Originally posted on The Hair of the Dog Sports Blog  |  Last updated 5/25/12

Frank Mir looks to become a three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion this Saturday night when he challenges Junior Dos Santos for the title. Dos Santos will be defending the title for the first time since he won the belt from Cain Velasquez back in November. He also enters the fight with a score to settle for his friend and mentor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Nogueira had his arm snapped by Mir when they fought in December at UFC 140. Nogueira refused to tap when Mir caught him in a kimura. Mir talked about it today on ESPN 1400 in Las Vegas:

The move is the same on my part. I apply pressure and you tap. The only difference is on the part of the person receiving the move. If they don’t tap, it’s not my fault. It’s the same as a quarterback running the open field. If you go for a slide, I’m not going to hit you very hard. But if you choose to stay on your feet and lower your helmet, I’m going to hit you like any other player, and if you get hurt, it’s not my fault.

Dos Santos and the rest of Brazil were saddened by Nogueira’s loss, his second loss to Mir. Dos Santos is determined to avenge Nogueira’s defeat. He’s been public about questioning Mir’s heart, going so far to say Mir “is not a man” on UFC Primetime. Mir responded by saying:

I don’t know where the line comes from. I think it comes more from the fact of possibly just trying to sell the fight more, get a little bit more media attention. We all know that car wrecks are interesting. Outlandish statements or provocative words cause people to pay attention more. So, I think it was more from that. I’m grateful that he didn’t pick a more intelligent one that was a little bit more savvy. The one he went for was a little bit easier to deflect.

When Dos Santos questioned Mir’s heart, he mentioned Mir’s fight with Shane Carwin specifically. During the fight Carwin obliterated Mir with punches. Dos Santos feels Mir gave up by pretending to be injured.

Many people think Dos Santos (the best boxer in the heavyweight division) will have the same success against Mir that Carwin did. Mir, on the other hand, says he knows Dos Santos’s weakness, and it just so happens to be Mir’s strength:

Well, you know, the weaknesses are just the unknown factors. We’ve never seen him on the ground, never been attempted in a submission, so I’ve got to assume it’s something that he doesn’t feel comfortable. So I’m banking it as a weakness.

Mir will have to find a way to get Dos Santos to the ground first to exploit that perceived weakness. I don’t know how plausible that is with Dos Santos having outstanding takedown defense. There’s a reason Dos Santos is a BIG favorite in this fight.

Like us on Facebook, Hair of the Dog Sports Blog. Check out Brian’s work on BleacherReport.com

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