Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Junior dos Santos looks more and more invincible every time out.
dos Santos controlled the fight from start to finish. Mir tried a takedown early in the first but couldn't secure it, and as it turned out, that was his best opportunity to do anything as dos Santos soon took over with his pinpoint striking.
The end came after dos Santos clipped Mir with a straight right. Mir crashed to the mat and looked out, but ref Herb Dean gave him a chance to defend. It was clear though that he was disoriented and it only took dos Santos one more punch to cause Dean to call a halt to the action.
"I'm feeling awesome, man," dos Santos said afterward. "It's amazing. Not bad for a nice guy, huh?"
Before the fight, it was believed that Mir's only chance to win was to take the fight to the mat. Afterward, he basically admitted that was the case but was stifled in his attempt to change the fight's location.
"I didn't want a boxing match with him, he just forced me into it," he said. "I couldn't get him down."
The first was almost entirely standup. Mir failed on an early takedown and mostly held his own until the last minute of the round until dos Santos clipped him with a right to the temple. Mir was clearly hurt and dos Santos swarmed with a flurry. Mir tried to cover up but dos Santos' strikes made it through and had him wobbled but time ran out before he could finish.
"This guy could take a punch," dos Santos said. "My hand is hurt."
Mir though was badly hurt as well. In between rounds, a Nevada state athletic commission official asked Mir where he was, and while he gave the right date, he said he was at the Mandalay Bay, while the fight was actually at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In winning, dos Santos gained a measure of revenge for his mentor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but he said it was of no concern to him.
"Nogueira is a tremendous fighter," he said. "Frank Mir is a really good fighter, too. That fight was between them. i don't care about that. I respect so much my mentor but I came to defend my belt and I did it."
dos Santos is now 15-1 overall and unbeaten in his nine UFC bouts.
Mir is now 16-6.
"He's the champ," Mir said. "He's fast. I couldn't get out of the way. He hit me hard, too many of them and they were all hard shots. They built up and I couldn't do anything about it."
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