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first fought at UFC 130, with the latter taking the
unanimous decision victory. Eight years after that encounter, the
two respected veterans will go at it again, this time at
. As they prepare for an encore performance, read
about some of their career-defining numbers below.
Years as a pro
Mir and Nelson are both highly experienced heavyweights whose names
are already etched in MMA history. Having made his pro debut on
July 14, 2001, Mir has been in the business for 18 years and has
compiled a record of 18-13. He’s accomplished so much throughout
the years, capturing the Ultimate Fighting Championship interim and
undisputed heavyweight titles. In all, he challenged for the UFC
belt five times.
Nelson debuted professionally almost three years later than Mir.
Between the two of them, however, it’s “Big Country” who has been
more active, amassing a 23-17 ledger. The former IFL heavyweight
champion is also the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 10, having
in the finale to capture the season title.
Significant strikes landed in first meeting
In their first meeting, Mir outstruck Nelson 46-21. The native of
Las Vegas looked poised for an early knockout as he repeatedly
threw knee strikes to Nelson’s head. Big Country managed to
survive, but after the lopsided affair in which Mir made it look
easy, the judges awarded him the unanimous decision victory after
Takedowns scored in first meeting
Both Nelson and Mir are jiu-jitsu black belts. They even met in a
grappling match years ago, with Nelson getting his hand raised. But
in their UFC 130 scuffle, it was Mir who had the upper hand,
manhandling his opponent on several occasions. He was able to score
six takedowns, including a beautiful throw near the end of Round 1.
Nelson, for his part, didn’t land a single takedown.
The last time Nelson scored a knockout was in 2016 when he stopped
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC Fight Night 95. Overall, Nelson owns
15 wins by KO or TKO, making for a 65 percent knockout rate. Mir is
better known for his ground game, but he does have an ever-evolving
standup game. He owns five wins by KO or TKO, which translates to a
28 percent knockout rate.
Mir is one of the most accomplished and intimidating ground
tacticians in the history of the heavyweight division. In fact, he
owns the record for the most submission wins in UFC heavyweight
history at eight. Included in his submission ledger is a stunning
kimura that ended the night for another submission great in
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
, whom he had previously beaten by TKO,
as well as the infamously gruesome armbar on Tim Sylvia
UFC 48 that earned Mir the UFC heavyweight title.
Known for having a granite chin, Nelson has only been stopped three
times in his 40-fight career. Mir, on the other hand, has been
stopped 10 times. Both fighters have never lost via submission.