Who doesn’t love a good heavyweight fight?

There’s just something so enticing, so captivating about watching two Goliaths battle it out in the Octagon. Heavyweights might not always be the most technical or the fittest, but every time someone throws a strike fans hold their breath because it only takes one shot with the big boys.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the UFC heads to the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, for UFC Fight Night 71, where the main attraction will feature a clash between former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and highly touted prospect Todd Duffee.

Duffee burst on to the UFC scene in 2009 with an incredible seven second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102; the fastest knockout in UFC history. After that, Duffee came back to earth with back-to-back knockout losses; one at the hands of journeyman, Mike Russow, and the other at the hands of Alistair Overeem to close out 2010. Since that time, Duffee has competed only three times – winning all three by first round knockout – while battling a multitude of injuries and health issues. Now that Duffee is finally healthy, he is ready to ascend to the top of the heavyweight division.

Mir on the other hand is looking to put one last title run together before he calls it a career. One of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history Mir wants one last shot at glory. After going three full years without a victory, Mir got back in the win column with an impressive first round knockout against Antonio Silva in February. An extremely dangerous grappler, Mir has developed his striking a great deal over the past several years. With his history and cache, Mir is never more than three wins away from a title shot.

This is a pivotal bout for both men as the UFC heavyweight division is extremely thin. Will it be the young powerhouse, or will it be the old lion?

Striking

Even though Mir’s striking has improved over the years, he will be in over his head on the feet against Duffee. With superior speed, footwork and explosive power, Duffee looks to overwhelm his opposition early and put them away. Duffee might just have the fastest hands in the UFC heavyweight division and when he connects its lights out.

Advantag: Duffee

Wrestling

Neither fighter is really known for their wrestling ability, but Mir was a Nevada state champion in high school, so he does have some history. But on the flip side of that Duffee’s superior athleticism will like cancel our any potential technical wrestling advantage Mir may have.

Advantage: Even

Submissions

As dangerous as Duffee is on the feet, Mir is 10 times as dangerous once the fight hits the ground. A long time BJJ black belt and arguably the greatest heavyweight submission specialist of all time, Mir is a killer on the ground. He doesn’t just look to lock in a submission; he looks to snap limbs off of his opponent’s body. If this fight goes to the ground, it’s all Mir.

Advantage: Mir

X Factors

Duffee’s biggest X Factor heading into this bout is his speed. He will be so much faster than Mir on Wednesday and it could prove to be the difference in this fight. Mir’s seen it all in the Octagon, but he’s never faced a fighter with Duffee’s hand speed.

Mir’s biggest X Factor heading into this bout is his experience. If he can survive Duffee’s initial onslaught, the scales will heavily tilt into his favor. Having been in the Octagon with so many elite fighters over the years, Mir knows how to stay in the game and if he can get Duffee out of the first round, his superior technique and Fight IQ can take over.

Verdict

While it would be great to see Mir have an Andrei Arlovski-esq career revival and march towards one last title shot, it’s highly unlikely that happens. Duffee is simply too athletic and too explosive for Mir to handle at this point in his career.

Prediction: Duffee by TKO, Round 1

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.