Roy Nelson showed an incredible chin but little else in the co-main event of UFC 130 as Frank Mir put on a dominant display to earn the win.
The two gameplans of the fighters became quickly apparent in round one, with Mir happy to stand and trade, while Nelson was looking to get in close and grapple against the cage.
Nelson got his way for a significant portion of the round, but it was Mir who had the best of the action, making excellent use of knees both from striking range and in the clinch. Big Country showed tremendous resiliency though to take the repeated knees bouncing of his chin and continue fighting as if nothing had happened.
Towards the end of the round Mir produced a beautiful throw, launching all 260lbs of ‘Big Country’ and slamming him to the mat. He then was able to briefly secure mount and then take his back, but he couldn’t sink in the rear naked choke.
In round two Mir appears to be taking control of the fight, and is successful with two solid takedowns, though Nelson shows his ground skills by emerging back to his feet on both occasions.
Nelson is breathing heavy though, and although he manages to find Mir’s chin a couple of times he appears to be keen to take him down, but is simply unable to.
With Nelson gassing badly in the third Mir is able to further showcase his improved wrestling as he secures three more double-leg takedowns against the cage. On the third occasion Mir lands some heavy elbows to the face of his opponent, but Nelson eats them up.
Somehow ‘Big Country’ is still able to find the energy reserves to find a way back to his feet after each takedown, but offensively he’s offering nothing.
There’s no doubt about the winner here and Mir takes a clean sweep on the judges scorecards (30-27×2, 30-26).
While he didn’t get the finish he would have been hoping for this was still a good win for Mir, and showed himself to be superior both physically and technically to Nelson.
While Mir now moves closer to a title shot, Nelson now slumps to his second consecutive defeat, and both losses show that there are still significant holes in his game, with his physique and conditioning being problems that surely can no longer be avoided or laughed of.