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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Junior dos Santos made his first successful title defense on Saturday night at UFC 146, earning a TKO win over Frank Mir in the second round to hold on to the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Mir began the fight by immediately trying to get it to the ground. He closed the distance and shot in for a single leg takedown, and when he couldn't get that he tried to roll for a foot lock. Unfortunately for him, dos Santos' takedown defense was as excellent as it's ever been, and he easily avoided the takedown.
With the fight then turning into a bit of a boxing match, it essentially became just a matter of time. Dos Santos stayed patient, picking spots to land strikes and hurting Mir when he connected flush. He even nearly finished things off at the end of the first with a short flurry, but Mir survived to the horn.
The second round became much of the same, and dos Santos intelligently avoided going to the ground with Mir when he scored his first knockdown. With a second knock down in the round, dos Santos engaged only until Mir tried to instinctively grab his arm. He immediately backed off, and when Mir flopped around, clearly out of sorts, dos Santos landed one more strike before the fight was waved off.
Dos Santos won his ninth straight fight inside the Octagon, tying UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre with the second longest streak in the organization, behind UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva.
Penick's Analysis: The fight went pretty much as most expected it to. Mir needed to find a way to get the fight to the ground, as standing and trading strikes with dos Santos was never going to work out for him in a five round fight. Ultimately, that proved true, and dos Santos will now likely face off against the man he took the title from, Cain Velasquez, in his next defense.
[Junior dos Santos art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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