UFC Fight Night 71 Picks: Is Frank Mir Done For Against Todd Duffee?

Jason Lake

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 1:15 AM GMT

Former Heavyweight champion Frank Mir is in action Wednesday night against Todd Duffee. The MMA odds are in Duffee's favor, but Mir has surprised us more than once.

Frank Mir is 36 years old. It's been three years since he last fought for the UFC's Heavyweight strap, and six years since he held the title. But Mir has a way of surprising us every once in a while. Back in 2008, Mir disposed of both Brock Lesnar (–150) and “Big Nog” Nogueira (–290) en route to the Interim championship. And most recently, Mir knocked out Antonio Silva (–155) this past February, in Silva's native Brazil no less.

Now Mir finds himself in the main event of Fight Night 71 this Wednesday night (10:00 p.m. ET, FS1) at the old Sports Arena in San Diego. Once again, Mir is on the wrong side of the UFC odds, checking in at +170 against up-and-comer Todd Duffee. That's up from +150 at the open. Seems like very few people expect Mir to get his hand raised in this one. And they may be right this time.

 

Test Pattern
You may recall that Mir (17-9 lifetime) was on a four-fight losing streak before he put Silva down in February. Alistair Overeem (–385) kicked his ass for three rounds at UFC 169, then Mir took a full year off to recharge his batteries and work on his game. Mir certainly looked like a different fighter; he switched from southpaw to orthodox and used his striking rather than his mat skills to get the win over Silva.

Mir's change in approach was at least partially in response to last year's ban on testosterone-replacement therapy. The ban came down not long after Mir's embarrassing loss to Overeem, forcing Mir to reconsider and improve his training regimen if he wanted to continue in the Octagon. The results against Silva were promising. However, any aging fighter who's no longer on TRT has to be considered suspect – see Belfort, Vitor.

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Parsonage-Turner Overdrive
Duffee (9-2 lifetime) has been on his own rollercoaster ride. He's already on his second tour of duty with the UFC at age 29, a journey that included a two-year hiatus due to Parsonage-Turner syndrome. Like Mir, Duffee has also been embarrassed by Overeem (–465), getting knocked out after just 19 seconds of their DREAM Heavyweight title match in 2010. Usually, it's Duffee doing the honors – all nine of his wins have been by knockout.

It's the power of the punch that has most people adding Duffee to their UFC picks. It's difficult to get much of a fix on Duffee because of sample size, as well as his lower quality of opposition thus far. But we're going to go out on a limb and fade Mir in this matchup. His striking defense is quite poor at 37 percent, while Duffy has stuffed 90 percent of takedown attempts during his brief time in the Octagon. It's a tepid endorsement, though, so size your bets accordingly, and as always, shop around for the best price on our MMA odds board.

UFC Pick: Take Duffee –185 at WagerWeb

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