Full Contact Fighter’s The Daily Takedown: UFC, Mir, Enter the Hexagon; Invicta FC All-Women’s Show Creates MMA Buzz
By Joshua Molina
Daniel Cormier can’t go to the UFC yet. So the UFC will come to him.
Coming off a one-sided beating at the hands of UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Frank Mir is now scheduled to battle rising Strikeforce star Cormier, in a match scheduled for Oct.
The UFC made the announcement today, setting off a major twitter/social media buzz. The two heavyweights will collide in the co-main event. Strikeforce Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez will also fight Pat Healy for the gold.
Mir, who tapped out Brock Lesnar in 2008, to hand him his first defeat, could present a challenge for the former Olympian Cormier, who has looked masterful in defeats of notable heavyweights such as Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Mir is a submission specialist and has proven that he can handle larger fighters.
Still, Cormier will have the advantage in the standup, and it could be tough for Mir to counter Cormier’s superior Olympic-level wrestling skills.
Since Strikeforce no longer has an official heavyweight division or championship, Cormier, the Strikeforce Grand Prix Champion, has his eyes on the UFC gold. Mir is looking to stop the rising Cormier, and show that he’s still a top heavyweight.
Both fighters are headed to the UFC after the fight, regardless of the outcome. If Cormier wins, he could be destined for a battle with Cain Velasquez in the UFC, although both fighters would do everything in their power to avoid such a fight; they are friends and training partners at San Jose, California’s American Kickboxing Academy.
The Sacramento show will also be headlined by Melendez, arguably the best lightweight in the world, battling Healy. Healy is coming off a controversial victory over Mizuto Hirota two weeks ago on the undercard of the Luke Rockhold /Tim Kennedy middleweight championship fight.
Melendez is running out of options for challengers in the gutted Strikeforce brand. He’s lost to Josh Thomson once and beaten him twice – all three fights went the distance – and he badly wants to avoid a fourth fight with Thomson, whose awkward, dirty boxing style always presents a challenge for Melendez.
MMA fans would love to see Melendez battle other top lightweights such as UFC lightweight champ Ben Henderson or No. 1 contender Frankie Edgar or Bellator’s Eddie Alvarez. Those matchups, for now, appear out of reach because of contractual relationships between the UFC, Strikeforce and Showtime.
A Melendez matchup with KJ Noons in Strikeforce would be an exciting fight, but for now Melendez needs to focus on the right-now and convincingly beat Healy before any dream matchups could be possible.
Saturday’s Invicta 2 mixed martial arts card in Kansas will break ground. The 14-card show will be streamed live at http://invictafc.com. It features Olympic Silver Medalist Sara McMann battling Shayna Baszler in the main event. Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion King Mo will serve as a guest commentator, along with Showtime play-by-play man Maura Ranallo and MMA fighter Julie “Fireball” Kedzie.”
At a time when UFC boss Dana White said that promoting women’s matches would be impossible because there aren’t enough viable women to make good fights, Invicta is proving the loud-mouth boss wrong.
The show takes place from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. Beginning at 6 p.m. Fighters from the card have appeared on MMA internet shows and in local media all week.
The Aug. 4 UFC show on Fox will have a lot on the line. The winner of the Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera fight is likely to battle the winner of the Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson UFC light heavyweight championship match on Sept. 1. But also in contention for the title show are Lyota Machida and Ryan Bader, who will clash on the same card.
Perhaps the biggest storyline, however, on the UFC on Fox 4 show will be the ratings. UFC’s popularity appears to have peaked. The ratings on the network broadcast have steadily declined, possibly from overexposure to the brand.
The first show drew 5.7 million viewers; the second show dropped to 4.6 million viewers; the third show attracted 2.4 million viewers. The free show was beaten badly by the $60 pay-per-view fight the same night between Floyd Mayweather Jr. And Miguel Cotto.
Have a tip or a comment? Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org.