This weekend UFC 128 will feature a middleweight match-up between top ten middle Nate “The Great’ Marquardt and Dan Miller. It’s a pivotal fight for both fighters for different reasons. Marquardt has lost 2 out of his last three, and Miller has lost to every top UFC middleweight he has faced in the UFC. That list includes Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia, and Michael Bisping. It must be noted that Miller is taking this fight on VERY short notice, as he’s replacing Yoshihiro Akiyama due to the earthquake in Japan. Miller has a history of taking tough fights on short notice, and is another reason why he’s been kept on the roster even after losing three in a row at one point in the UFC.
Dan Miller has won his last two fights inside the octagon. He brings a career record of (13-4) with 8 wins via submission and one TKO/KO to date. He is incredibly durable and has never been finished in his MMA career. Miller brings a wrestling base and is also a black belt in jiu-jitsu as evident by the high number of submission wins.
Marquardt is coming off a lackluster performance in his loss to top middleweight contender Yuhsin Okami. He brings an overall record of (30-10-2) with 15 wins via submission and 9 wins via TKO/KO. He’s also a jiu-jitsu black belt, but prefers to stand and trade strikes as of late.
Betus has Marquardt as the betting favorite at (-280) and Miller as the underdog at (+210).
There will be two main components in this fight. Can Marquardt stop the take-down or will Marquardt’s size prove to be too much for Miller?
Marquardt has had issues stopping the take-down against wrestlers in the past, but that was against very good to elite wrestlers in Okami and Sonnen. I don’t place Miller in that category. He has a wrestling base and may have some tricks of the trade, but I really don’t think he’ll be able to get Marquardt to the ground and keep him there. I think Marquardt’s size will have a say in that equation. Marquardt takes the stand-up portion of this fight relatively easily as long as he doesn’t try to look for the one punch KO like he’s done in the past. I think he realizes he can’t afford to lose this one, and sticks to the game-plan to get the win.
The game-plan will essentially be keep the fight standing and win the stand-up battle. Miller’s never been finished and I don’t think Marquardt will be the first to do so although he does have power in his strikes. There’s a reason why Marquardt has won 8 fights via decision. Just to note, Marquardt is difficult to finish as well and hasn’t been finished since losing to current champion Anderson Silva back in 2007.
I see Marquardt forcing Miller to strike and winning that battle via unanimous decision.