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Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez to determine top contender in UFC 146 bout

Las Vegas’ Memorial Day weekend card filling up with 10 bouts announced

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Sam Morris

Frank Mir talks to the media during a news conference in advance of UFC 130 Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Mir will face fellow Las Vegan Roy Nelson in a heavyweight bout on Saturday.

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.

Las Vegas native Frank Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) will challenge fellow former champion Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) in a bout to determine the top heavyweight contender.

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.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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