UFC 93 Breakdown: The Undercard

Mohr vs. Siver

After the usual glut of New Year hysteria and fistic overload, you’d think it would be time for a break from the MMA world. A break we could use to do the things we often ignore, like pay rent, spend time outside or even interact with other living organisms.

If you thought that, then you thought wrong as UFC 93 comes at us from the O2 arena in Dublin, Ireland, this Saturday with another card chock full of the usual testosterone-laced goodness.

First up is a look at the undercard, which features a war of the nicknames, a war between various European nations and possibly several other wars I have invented for the sake of drama. If you feel I forgot any relevant fictitious wars, please e-mail me.

Nate Mohr vs. Dennis Siver

Dennis Siver Scouting Report
Ht/Wt: 5’7/155 lbs.
Age: 30
Hometown: Omsk, Russia
Fighting out of: Mannheim, Germany
Record: 12-6

The stakes: Siver is kind of like that female German exchange student from high school. Everyone was kind of excited about her when she first showed up until the stench of schnitzel and sauerkraut overcame any desire for cultural exchange. Anytime a mixed martial artist can be compared to a teenage exchange student, it’s high time for a change of direction.

Stuck on the bottom of the undercard and sporting an unsightly 1-3 UFC record, Siver can either go on as the UFC’s adopted German novelty fighter or start putting some of his obvious talent to use. The latter would be a good idea since the novelty is starting to wear off. Germany is so 1997.

The breakdown: Considering Nate Mohr’s two UFC losses have come via the Achilles lock, I’m tempted to say Siver’s training camp should revolve around watching vintage Pancrase tapes and getting used to wearing impossibly tight Speedos -- hardly a stretch for our European brethren. Unfortunately, Siver is no Masakatsu Funaki.

What Siver does have on Mohr in this bout is striking, which happens to be Mohr’s self-proclaimed pugilistic preference. While Siver will be giving up some height to Mohr, as long as he can collapse the pocket early and use his hand speed to swarm the more methodical Mohr, he’ll notch der KO.

Nate Mohr Scouting Report
Ht/Wt: 5’9/155 lbs.
Age: 25
Hometown: Davenport, Iowa
Fighting out of: Crystal Lake, Ill.
Record: 8-5

The stakes: After three fights in the UFC, all we know about Mohr is that he can beat the Luke Caudillos of the world and his ankles must be on the verge of quitting on him and finding a new host. Obviously, you need ankles to fight, so Mohr should have all the motivation in the world.

Of course, if that isn’t enough to get him pumped up about learning the defense to an Achilles lock, he can always look to his pedestrian 1-2 UFC mark, which is hardly doing him any favors at the negotiating table. Truth is that one of these fighters likely has a pink slip in his near future, and unless Mohr wants to go back to slumming it on XFO shows in the Middle of Nowhere, Illinois, he’d be doing himself a favor by keeping his ankles safe and getting his hand raised.

The breakdown: Generally, the safe route to success against Siver would be forcing him to the ground, but Mohr turns into Stephen Hawking on the mat, minus the IQ. What Mohr needs to do is keep Siver at bay and under control since Siver’s superior hand speed and overall striking versatility makes him a tough match for Mohr.

While that strategy would be sound, Mohr’s habit of throwing short arm punches and keeping his hands way out in front is a recipe for disaster against Siver. What this bout comes down to for Mohr is whether or not he is willing to ditch the stereotypical brawler’s mentality and actually work behind the jab and a tight defense.

* * *

The bottom line: For a guy who cut his teeth on the golden gloves circuit, Mohr makes a lot of painfully elementary mistakes. While Siver is hardly Germany’s pocket version of Ernesto Hoost, he has every advantage on the feet against Mohr minus height.

This one shouldn’t take too long as Siver capitalizes on Mohr’s porous defense early on and sends him to la-la land courtesy of a counter overhand right.
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