Miller back on track in main event win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The UFC brought some noise to Music City on Friday for its debut on the FX cable channel, but perhaps none was as loud as Jim Miller‘s.
Miller survived a barrage of Melvin Guillard knees in the first half of the first round of the main event at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller, only to take Guillard down, take his back and sink in a fight-ending rear naked choke. The end came at 2:04 of the first round, getting Miller back in the win column and handing Guillard his second straight setback after a five-fight winning streak.
“I don’t get knocked down often, and he knocked me down,” Miller said after the fight. “There are a lot of guys in this weight class and the one above us that don’t wanna fight that kid.”
Guillard’s trouble with submissions continued. Of his 10 career losses, nine have come by submission, including an upset loss to Joe Lauzon in October at UFC 136. Miller said earlier in the week he assumed Guillard had been upping his submission defense – but in the end, it was more of the same.
“I just found a way to the back,” Miller said. “It’s something I’ve always been aboe to do. From there, it was just securing position. I’m pretty confident I’m the most dangerous lightweight in the world, and I’m willing to make you guys believe that. It’s so gratifying.”
Miller was on a seven-fight winning streak last summer when he ran into Ben Henderson – but it’s been reported that he was suffering from mononucleosis at the time of the fight in August, and he lost a unanimous decision. A win likely would’ve gotten him a shot at the lightweight title currently held by Frankie Edgar. But Henderson moved on to a fight with Clay Guida, won, and now has a shot at that belt next month.
But with his ultimately dominant win over Guillard, Miller put himself right back in the picture in the UFC’s lightweight division.
“I’ve actually been working back escapes all camp,” Guillard said. “I just fell the wrong way, fell right into him. I don’t like to tap, but I had to. The way I fell, he just got too tight a grip on me. I’ll be back. I want to fight my way back from the bottom up. That’s the right way to do it.”
Earlier on the card, heavyweight kickboxing specialist Pat Barry used his submission defense skills to escape Christian Morecraft, got back to his feet and knocked Morecraft out – not much unlike how Barry pal Matt Mitrione did to Morecraft last June.
“When I was on top of him, I could feel blood trickle down my neck,” Neer said of a cut he sustained in the fight. “I didn’t know how bad the cut was above my eye, so I knew I had to finish him and finish quick. I saw an opening and got him. He’s probably the hardest puncher I’ve ever faced.”
And in the second fight on the FX-televised main card, Mike Easton won a majority decision against UFC newcomer Jared Papazian, who used 15 minutes to show the UFC and fans that he can stand in and take a shot – and deliver a few, too. Easton won 30-27, 29-28 and had a 29-29 draw on one card for his second straight win in the UFC’s tough bantamweight division.