The UFC on FOX 3 main event will feature a lightweight bout between TUF Five winner Nate Diaz and highly ranked lightweight Jim Miller. UFC President Dana White has stated that Diaz will receive a title shot should he get past Miller, but Miller will likely need one or two more wins. This should be a scrap so let’s see how it breaks down.
Nate Diaz (15-7) comes into this fight off the heels of a dominating unanimous decision over Donald Cerrone at UFC 141 in December. He has won 10 fights via submission and three fights via TKO/KO. Diaz is (4-2) in his last six bouts, but four of those bouts were in the welterweight division. However, Diaz has won back to back fights since moving back to the lightweight division. He’s as durable as they come, has underrated striking, and has a very active guard on the ground when it comes to jiu-jitsu. The only hole in his game is his takedown defense as six of his seven losses have come via unanimous decision, primarily against guys with good wrestling and top control.
Jim Miller (21-3) is coming off an impressive submission win over Melvin Guillard in his last fight which took place in January. Miller has won 12 fights via submission and also won three fights via TKO/KO. Three losses on his record have come against the current lightweight champion Ben Henderson, former champion Frankie Edgar, and former number contender Gray Maynard. The knock on Miller is that his striking isn’t up to par with his wrestling and grappling skills.
Miller is the favorite at (-200) and Diaz as the underdog at (+160).
I’d have to say those odds are spot on as Diaz has historically had problems with fighters that fit the mold of Jim Miller. Diaz will likely have success with his striking but will have problems stopping the takedowns of Miller. I think Miller is versed enough in submissions that he should be able to avoid getting submitted against Nate. However, Nate’s very crafty on the ground and his length could be a factor there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nate win via submission, but I just don’t see it happening.
This fight is a five round fight and Diaz has cardio for days, but Miller has never really shown that he has issues with his stamina. I could see Nate doing damage over the course of five rounds while the fight is on the feet, but I’m not sure he has enough to put Miller away as Miller has never been stopped in his MMA career. IF Diaz is able to beat a guy like Miller it would be a huge feather in his cap and would serve notice to the rest of the division that he’s a legitimate threat if he’s granted the title shot.
With all that being said, I think Jim Miller takes it via unanimous decision.