MMA Quick Hits 6/15/11: Frank Mir believes Cain Velasquez is the best, Josh Barnett says he’s the best
Frank Mir told ESPN’s Josh Gross that he’d favor Cain Velasquez over anyone. “I’m still not completely sold on dos Santos. (admittedly hasn’t seen the UFC 131 fight between JDS/Carwin). I don’t know how well-rounded he is. Velasquez right now, though, I think is a hard match-up for everybody. I think he posses the one tool that is every heavyweight’s Achilles heel and that’s his cardio. It’s amazing that he has cardio on the same level as most welterweights that are at the top of their cardio game. He’s shown to be extremely well-rounded as far as hands, takedowns. He threw Brock Lesnar around like a rag doll, I couldn’t believe it, I mean he out-struck him obviously but he picked him up and threw him down and I was blown away by that. Also, Brock with all that size and power couldn’t even hold him down once he had taken him down. So, right now, I’m pretty much if you tell me Cain Velasquez and anybody to name on the other end of that roster, I would bet on Cain Velasquez.” I think Mir should have at least watched one of the biggest heavyweight fights before commenting. And his memory of the Velasquez/Lesnar fight is a little skewed. Velasquez owned him, but I think Mir was taking a shot at Lesnar. Still, Velasquez is a beast, but I’ve been saying it for a while now, Dos Santos is the best heavyweight on the roster, and he will prove it this fall.
Josh Barnett told Sherdog.com that he’s the best heavyweight in the Strikeforce Grand Prix. “Plain and simple, I’m the best fighter in this tournament. I’ve got the most experience…I’ve been fighting longer. I’ve been in the sport longer. I’ve fought all the top guys, and the fact that some of these guys in the tournament are the top guys now, well, they weren’t the top guys when I was fighting. A lot of the top guys I fought were the top guys for years, some near a decade. Just because you got into the upper echelon just now — we’ll see how it turns out later on in life. I’ve got the biggest skill set and I think I’ve got the best overall, all-around ability and I’m just the meanest, angriest, most bloodthirsty bastard out of them all.” Yeah, well, too bad this tournament isn’t taking place in the past. Otherwise, Barnett may have a point. But since this Grand Prix is taking place NOW, I’m going to have to lean towards Alistair Overeem.
UFC officials revealed that Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto is all healed up and ready to get back into action this fall, where he’ll now meet Damacio Page at UFC 135 this September. This ought to be a stand and bang type of fight. And in that kind of fight, Kid is money.
The UFC announced on its Twitter account that UFC 135 has its headliner, and that Jon Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have verbally agreed to meet for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at the September 24 event. This is an intriguing fight, but I still say Rashad Evans got jobbed.
According to a report from MMAWeekly.com, Mark Hunt is returning to action this September against Ben Rothwell at UFC 135. Rothwell has been out of action for quite a while, but even so, I fully expect him to dominate this fight. Far be it from me to tell a fighter to hang it up, but Hunt should think about.