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Kubrat Pulev vs. Frank Mir: Preview and prediction

Jake Paul v Ben Askren - News Conference
Jake Paul v Ben Askren - News Conference
Josh Evanoff
TOP CONTRIBUTOR

Well, Triller is back at it again. The upstart boxing promotion, which debuted this time last year with the return of Mike Tyson, has since made a name for itself with anything outrageous and unorthodox. It's back Saturday night for another pay-per-view event, this time with a twist.

The event is the first under 'Triad Combat' rules, and it's essentially a boxing match but with mixed rules. The ruleset allows for fighters to punch during cliches and certain techniques like spinning back fists to be legal. It also takes place inside of a cage.

The main-event on the card features a Triller veteran in former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, who's taking on former title challenger Kubrat Pulev. Let's take a look at what to expect when the two behemoths step in the cage on Saturday night.


Kubrat Pulev vs. Frank Mir: Preview

The reality of this fight is that it's about as weird of a match-up as possible. Originally, it seemed like it would be Vitor Belfort taking on Pulev, and that bout makes a bit of sense given Belfort's boxing prowess. Instead, it's Mir, who is mostly known as a grappler.

However, the matchup itself is intriguing due to the new ruleset allowing for extensive clinchwork. Mir is one of the best heavyweight grapplers of all-time, and he's also spent a lot of time bulking up over the past year, which could pay dividends in the clinch against Pulev.

It's also worth noting that Mir's single boxing bout was earlier this year against former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham. While Mir was outboxed, he made a good account of himself by going the full six rounds.

For Mir, the gameplan is simple: get inside and clinch and wear on Kubrat Pulev. For Pulev, he's a massive favorite for a reason. He's the better boxer and is extremely durable. If Mir can't make use of the new rules, it's going to be a tough night for him.


Kubrat Pulev vs. Frank Mir: Prediction

Frank Mir will likely make good use of the new rules, which could prolong the bout. Mir showed success clinching against Cunningham, and that was a bout under standard boxing rules. He also seems defensively competent and avoids big shots.

The issue for Mir lies in the fact that Pulev really only needs one. Cunningham, while a great boxer, is years past his best and was never a true heavyweight. While Mir was able to outmuscle him at certain times, Pulev likely wouldn't be as easily bullied around.

That's not even acknowledging the fact that Pulev is currently one of the top-ranked boxers on the planet. There's a reason why the Bulgarian was challenging for the heavyweight championship this time last year against Anthony Joshua.

Along with the mixed rules, the bout is only scheduled for nine rounds. Mir's best pathway to victory is to get to the scorecards, and to try and win rounds in the clinch. However, there's very little chance for him to do so. Pulev really only needs one punch, and Mir's little boxing experience will not be of much help.


The Outcome

Kubrat Pulev is going to win on Saturday night. Frank Mir is one of the toughest guys around, and he's taking boxing seriously in a way that is commendable.

In a fight where Kubrat Pulev only needs one, he's going to get it. Mir will likely make a good account of himself, but it won't be enough.

Prediction: Kubrat Pulev via knockout.


Edited by Genci Papraniku
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