Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson: Round 1
The southpaw Mir takes to the center of the cage, but Nelson rushes forward and initiates the clinch. Mir puts Nelson’s back to the fence and looks for a double-leg that doesn’t come. Nelson swaps positions and puts hands to Mir’s gut, but Mir is doing well to frustrate and stall “Big Country.” The former champ exits with a hard knee, then just misses with a big head kick. Nelson lands a solid right hand and clinches up again, this time using underhooks to immobilize Mir. Knees inside from Nelson draw a warning from referee Josh Rosenthal to “keep ‘em clean.” Mir connects with two or three hard, high knees and Nelson backs away. More knees from Mir back Nelson up further, but not for long. Nelson puts Mir on the fence again, hold him there a moment, then backs up, slugging. Mir strikes with more knees and then tosses Nelson to the ground beautifully. Mir takes full mount and Nelson craftily twists around, scrambling to his feet. The round ends with Nelson trying to mount offense against the cage.
Round 2: Nelson slugs Mir with a big right over the top. Mir throws a combo and a solid kick to the body, rushing in behind it to beat Nelson to the clinch. Mir drops for a single-leg and deposits Nelson on his back in half-guard. Mir puts his glove over the mouth of Nelson and is warned by referee Rosenthal to watch the eyes. Nelson works to his feet and they clinch again with Big Country scoring on uppercuts. Another knee in the clinch is followed by another Mir takedown. He pins down Nelson’s left arm, but Nelson again powers his way out and to his feet. The crowd approves and Nelson sucks in a deep breath with 90 seconds to go in the middle round. Nelson shoots a single and puts Mir’s back on the fence. Nelson looks wiped as he holds Mir to the cage for the final minute.
Round 3: Mir ducks inside and ties up to score with another high knee; after it lands, Nelson backs away and draws a breath with his hands at his side. A kick to the body and further knees come from Mir before he walks Nelson into a corner and plows him down once again. Mir works from a loose half-guard on Nelson’s right, pinning down Nelson’s arm, laying punches and forearms across the face. Nelson stands and the sequence repeats. Elbows, hammerfists and shoulder shrugs find their way to the exhausted grill of Nelson, but he still manages to climb back up. Another high double puts Nelson on his back, where he’s simply gasping for air. Heavy, heavy elbows from Mir in the last minute, but Nelson is able to end the fight on his feet.
Official scores: It’s a clean sweep for Frank Mir with the judges at cageside turning in scorecards of 30-26 and 30-27 (twice).