Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 9:30 p.m.
UFC 146 has quickly turned into a showcase for the promotion’s heavyweight division.
On Wednesday afternoon, the UFC revealed a third heavyweight fight slated for the event, which takes place May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The winner of Velasquez vs. Mir should meet the victor of the night’s main event, a championship fight between Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, before the end of the year.
The long-rumored bout goes against one of the UFC’s usual matchmaking preferences. The organization typically prefers pitting two fighters coming off of the same result in their last bout.
In other words, winners face winners. Losers meet losers. But Mir and Velasquez had drastically different results at the end of 2011.
Mir shined in the UFC 140 co-main event, becoming the first man to ever submit Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Velasquez lasted a mere 64 seconds before Junior dos Santos knocked him out at UFC on FOX 1.
It marked the first career loss for Velasquez. Mir is on a three-fight winning streak but comes in as a hefty underdog against Velasquez.
Sports books opened Velasquez at -400 (risking $4 to win $1), with Mir coming back at +300.