I'm probably going to catch some heat for this, but bare with me and hear me out.
I keep reading unequivocally that Nog has the better ground game, and i think a distinction needs to be made. Nog has beaten better guys on the ground, but i don't think anyone can fairly say that he has a better ground game (yet). You can't prove that with anecdotal evidence alone.
There simply isn't enough evidence to support the fact that Nog beats Mir on the ground. Sure, he has more wins and has submitted top opponents, but Nog and Mir have had very different careers....with Mir basically getting cut down in his prime from the accident. Had that not happened, and Mir had stayed and defended his belt, theres no saying the quality of opponent he would have beaten. At the time, the dude was outright scary on the ground. Mir and Fedor have something in common (along with Andrei)....they're they only guys to submit Sylvia in extremely short order, and if we're talking about straight submissions, Mir was the only one of the three that did so while Big Tim had a clear head.
Mir has 11 wins with 7 subs, a high percentage of his wins. Nog has 31 wins with 19 subs, also a high percentage of his wins. Nogs resume is outright stellar, but he always wins with the same two things (armbars and triangles) with the odd anaconda or something. Mir literally beats dudes with all kinds of stuff (including shoulder locks and leg locks, something Nog just doesn't do).
Lets be real here. Mir came back and had the most terrible cardio outside of the MW division (Lutter), but it has been improving with each fight. I think the Cruz fight needs to be thrown out....we all know that wasn't Frank Mir that night. Hell, it wasn't Frank when he beat Dan either. Nog on the other hand has very good cardio. It hasn't looked as good recently, but i think the time off will have helped Nog heal and get fit again. If Mir really plans to try and outwork Nog, then i think he is in for a long night simply because i don't believe he could have improved it enough for him to do that for 5 rounds.
However, i really think that on the ground, with both guys not too tired....Franks grappling/submissions are every bit as good as Nog's, and at the least, i think he has better leg locks. "Thats ridiculous" im sure ill hear....but when you really look at it, Mir is a no bullshit legit black belt that straight up submits people; with a wide array of submissions no less. Nog is extremely good at what he does too, has better standup, and better cardio....which is why i have him as the favourite.
All that said, every time i think about this fight, (twice now) i have thought of a way for Mir to win. Nog fans shouldn't be so complacent, Mir is absolutely good enough to put Nog in danger, especially with Nog being at the back side of his career (I love the guy too, but he clearly peaked in 2004-05).
I'm really looking forward to this fight. I think it's going to be great, and I'm happy to see either guy win because i like them both. Nog, because the guy is just an outright legend of the sport. Mir, because no one is giving him a chance, and he has the opportunity to get back something that he never lost.
It's gonna be fun