The heavyweight hits just keep on coming.
Just after announcing that Roy Nelson will face Antonio Silva at UFC 146, promotion officials revealed Wednesday afternoon that former champions Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez will also collide at the May 26 event.
Taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, UFC 146 will be headlined by a heavyweight title confrontation between reigning UFC champion Junior dos Santos and former Strikeforce ruler Alistair Overeem. According to the UFC’s announcement, the winner of Mir-Velasquez will be next in line for a shot at the title.
Mir has won three consecutive fights heading into his showdown with Velasquez, most recently earning Sherdog.com’s 2011 “Submission of the Year” by breaking the arm of onetime Pride champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with a kimura in their UFC 140 rematch. A 10-year veteran of the sport, Mir first captured the UFC heavyweight championship from Tim Sylvia in 2004 and won the interim title four years later with a knockout victory over Nogueira at UFC 92.
A former Arizona State University wrestling standout, Velasquez, 29, enters the cage three years younger than Mir. Representing the vaunted American Kickboxing Academy, Velasquez compiled a perfect 9-0 record to start his career, culminating with a first-round knockout of hulking heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in October 2010. Following shoulder surgery, Velasquez returned to the Octagon just under 13 months later at UFC on Fox 1 and surrendered his title to Junior dos Santos, who knocked Velasquez out in 64 seconds with a powerful overhand right followed by ground-and-pound.