Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will be the color commentator for WEC 42 Sunday night on Versus, and all this week he's providing his insight into the WEC fights. Today I ask Mir about the lightweight fight between Ricardo Lamas and Danny Castillo.
What's your overall opinion of Ricardo Lamas vs. Danny Castillo?
These guys both have good training camps, so they're going to come in in great shape. Danny Castillo trains with Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez at Ultimate Fitness, and it's always great for guys like Castillo and Benavidez who are training together to be preparing to fight on the same card.
Lamas is a very strong guy. I like his wrestling ability and I think this is going to be a battle of positioning, which guy can impose his grappling postiion on top. Both guys are sort of works in progress, working their way up to a shot at the WEC lightweight title.
Lamas against Castillo is a fight that I think probably goes to the ground. With your own strong jiu jitsu background, do you like that part of this job, explaining what's going on on the ground and teaching that to the fans?
I like explaining the whole thing, whether they're on their feet or on the ground, the whole aspect of MMA is something that I love explaining. I think there are some things I need to explain in the stand-up, too, like when fans of boxing watch MMA they sometimes ask questions about why the fighters aren't slipping punches more, and you have to explain that if he slips too far he leaves himself open for a knee. So every aspect of it I like explaining. But when the fans understand the sport more they enjoy it more, and it's my job to explain it. Sometimes on the ground the fans don't understand, and when I can explain it, they'll enjoy it more.
I sometimes think of how new fans view the ground game as how I would view rugby: I'll see rugby on TV and it looks kinda cool and I try to watch it, but after five minutes I turn it off because I have no clue what's going on. I wish the announcers would explain it to me, because it looks pretty cool, these guys running around the field smashing each other. It seems exciting, but I don't really understand the rules, so I turn it off.
I think that happens with MMA, people see two jiu jitsu guys on the ground and don't know what's going on, so I try to explain it. A viewer doesn't always know that when one guy is trying to pass another guy's guard, there's a lot happening. I hope if Lamas and Castillo go to the ground, I can explain what's happening.