UFC 146 had it all up until a month ago. A big title fight with two of the best strikers in their division, an all-heavyweight card and what was essentially a UFC heavyweight tournament that would have helped shape the division’s future.

Now there have been many changes, and the biggest one of them all was the removal of Alistair Overeem and the insertion of Frank Mir in the heavyweight title fight with Junior dos Santos.

Mir has worked his way back to a title shot and the tops of the heavyweight division.

Mir is the former UFC heavyweight champion and the former interim heavyweight champion. In fact, Mir is on a three-fight winning streak since losing to Shane Carwin for the UFC interim belt at UFC 111.

Since losing to Carwin, Mir has beaten Pride legends Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop, while also defeating TUF champion Roy Nelson. That’s not an easy trio of victories to pull off. The feat is all the more impressive considering Mir knocked out the striking legend, Cro Cop, and submitted the grappling ace, Nogueira.

Mir’s victory over “Big Nog” was especially impressive. Nogueira is a ground wizard and Mir out-grappled him and snapped his arm like it was nothing.

Out of everybody else, who would deserve this shot more than Mir?

Cain Velasquez just lost his belt to dos Santos in November. Why does he deserve an immediate rematch after a very decisive loss?

Fabricio Werdum just returned to the UFC after losing to Overeem in Strikeforce and has only beaten Nelson since. Werdum isn’t at the top just yet.

Mark Hunt? As much as I wouldn’t mind it, it doesn’t make sense to give a title shot to a fighter who is barely over the .500 mark in his career and has only beaten the likes of Cheick Kongo, Chris Tuchscherer and Ben Rothwell.

To anybody who suggests Fedor Emelianenko as the possible replacement, please save your breath and the precious seconds of your life you’ll use to say his name. He might be the greatest of all-time, but right now he isn’t even the greatest of the last three years.

Since his 2006 loss to Brandon Vera, Mir is 7-2 and his only two losses have came in title fights to Brock Lesnar and Carwin. In those seven wins, only one has been a decision victory.

There is nobody worthy of fighting for the title outside of Mir. Mir has earned his shot and if the fight goes to the ground, he will challenge dos Santos and make him work for his first title defense.

Photo: Frank Mir (top) submits Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140 (Tracy Lee/Yahoo! Sports)

About The Author

Sal DeRose
Staff Writer

Sal hails from New Jersey and is currently training for his first MMA fight. He hopes to use his knowledge and insight to generate articles that interest and entertain you. Outside of MMA, Sal is a big fan of every other sport. He's a diehard New York sports fan, with the exception of cheering for the Packers.