So, it looks like all the speculation can end. About an hour ago, Dana White posted on his Twitter that Frank Mir will replace Alistair Overeem and challenge Junior dos Santos for his heavyweight title on May 26 at UFC 146.
Here is the post from Dana's Twitter:
Taking off to Atlanta!!!! May 26 th is now Mir vs JDS for the HW title in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
What sort of chance does Mir have? My first instinct is to say that dos Santos has a heavy advantage here - Mir has shown that his chin, while not terrible, still remains a bit of a liability. This would seem to play right into the heavy-handed champion's hands, and I'm guessing the fight ends via KO fairly quickly.
Dos Santos has yet to be tested on the ground, but it is a safe bet that the Black House representative is hardly deficient - still though, does this represent Mir's possible avenue to victory? Is he even capable of closing the distance and getting Junior down without getting his lights turned out courtesy of a huge uppercut? He was wobbled against Nogueira and admitted he was pretty much on jiu-jitsu autopilot on the ground, and it's a pretty safe bet to say that Junior hits much harder than Nogeuira. Also, it's not even certain that Junior will be easy to handle on the ground; he is simply untested. Mir has beat the odds before though, and I'm very interested in seeing how he attempts to solve the puzzle Junior dos Santos presents, a puzzle that no one else in the UFC has been able to solve.
This also brings up another question - what happens to Alistair Overeem? He seems to think he will have no problem getting licensed at his impending hearing with the NSAC. Will the UFC try and use him against Velasquez if he gets licensed? Is he just going to be axed from the promotion? The point will be moot if the commission refuses to license him, but it will be very interesting to see what Dana White and company do with Overeem if he does, in fact, get licensed.