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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Leg kicks upon leg kicks upon leg kicks. That was the gameplan implemented by Frank Mir on Friday night.
The former UFC champion Mir (19-13 MMA, 1-2 BMMA) peppered the inside lead leg of opponent Roy Nelson (23-18 MMA, 1-4 BMMA) in their Bellator 231 headlining bout.
As the fight progressed, the inside of Nelson lead left leg became more and more red. Mir’s leg kicks knocked Nelson off balance numerous times, but “Big Country” kept on trucking. Mir would win the bout via unanimous decision.
During the Bellator 231 broadcast, commentator Chael Sonnen claimed UFC contender Francis Ngannou injured Nelson in the weeks leading up to the belt. “The American Gangster” alleged Nelson’s team was concerned rumors would start to build and sweep across the Las Vegas MMA community. As a result of the kick-heavy attack, Sonnen questioned if Mir had heard those rumors.
When asked at a post-fight press conference after Friday’s event, Mir confirmed that he did indeed hear those rumors but brushed them off as hearsay.
“If he was injured and he took that many leg kicks, then holy cow that guy wins the iron leg award,” Mir said. “You hear all kinds of things in camps back-and-forth.”
Rumors swirl during fight camps, according to Mir. When he heard his opponent injured the leg matching his power hand, red flags sprung up. It could have been a potential trick.
“Someone told me that, but I was like, ‘Ehhh, I’m not falling for that,’” Mir said. “Especially when they said it was his right leg, which is what I think I heard was injured. So then I was like, ‘Well, that’s not going to help me out. I’m a southpaw. How am I going to get to his right leg?’”
By defeating Nelson, Mir not only snapped a four-fight win streak but also picked up his first win with the promotion. Conversely, Nelson lost his fourth fight in a row.
Bellator 231 took place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card aired on Paramount and streamed on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
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