The co-main event of the UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle event is really the main event in my opinion when UFC lightweight contender Jim Miller will face former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. With a win Miller could possible be granted a title shot against the winner of the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard bout that will take place in a few weeks.
Let’s break down the fight.
Ben Henderson comes into this fight with a overall record of (13-2) with 8 wins via submission and 2 wins via TKO/KO. Henderson is the former WEC lightweight champion defeating Donald Cerrone to win the interim title and dispatching Jamie Varner to become the undisputed champion. He came over to the UFC from the merger with the WEC and won his debut back at UFC 129 against Mark Bocek. Henderson is a solid fighter with adequate standup, solid wrestling, solid submission skills, and great cardio.
Jim Miller comes into this fight with an overall record of (20-2) with 11 wins via submission and 3 via TKO/KO. Miller’s only two losses have come against the now #1 and #2 lightweight’s in the world in Edgar and Maynard. He’s won seven fights in a row while finishing four of those opponents. Miller has attritbutes that are very similar to Henderson in that he is comfortable no matter where the fight goes and has wrestling background while being versed in submissions. Actually, Miller has a blackbelt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Wow. What a fight. Both fighters have a common opponent in Mark Bocek and some people think Bocek deserved the win over Miller whereas Henderson won pretty handily. However, Miller has stepped his game up quite a bit since then becoming more aggressive and imposing his will against his last two opponents.
I think the difference in this fight will be on the feet and in the transitions/scrambles should this fight hit the ground. I give Miller a slight edge on the feet. I also give him the edge on the ground, but Henderson has very good submission defense and is very good in transition and scramble opportunities. I think the wrestling is about even with a slight edge to Henderson, and he may have a slight edge in takedown defense.
I know that Jim Miller is the slight betting favorite, but this fight is almost a toss up in my opinion. I still haven’t made my final decision about who I’m picking, but I’m almost certain this one with go to the judges because both fighters are similar stylistically. It’ll ultimately probably be determined by who can impose their will on the other.
I’m let you guys call this one, and you can see my final prediction during the staff picks that will posted later this week!