UFC on FOX 3: Can the UFC Sell Jim Miller?
Initially, when the world's leading mixed martial arts promotion announced that a lightweight tilt between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller would grace UFC on FOX 3, the consensus thought: "Cool, but what's the main event?"
Eventually, UFC president Dana White conceded that both Diaz and Miller would take on headlining duties for the prestigious event.
The two lightweight notables don't exactly garner the same kind of star power that a heavyweight title tilt would, or even a 205-pound No. 1 contender battle.
However, the name Diaz has become synonymous with two of the sport's most enigmatic and exciting fighters in the business: Nick Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and Nate Diaz, a perennial contender in the 155-pound class.
In his last two outings, Nate has looked every bit the title contender that he has been groomed to be.
The Stockton native bounced back from a disappointing 2-2 run as a welterweight by deftly submitting former Pride champion Takanori Gomi and later throttling WEC import Donald Cerrone, handing the Greg Jackson fighter his first loss inside the Octagon.
Diaz's ascension through the ranks has been loud, given his eye opening performances and his antics before and during his bouts, though Miller shies away from all the hoopla that often surrounds hyping up fights.
The mild-mannered New Jersey fighter is the kind of stereotypical, cliche guy that always does his talking in the cage, though his fighting style is anything but quiet.
Miller has won seven of his last eight fights in the UFC, which includes submission victories over Duane Ludwig, Charles Oliveira and former contender Melvin Guillard.
The 28-year-old Miller may not garner the same kind of recognition that a fighter like Diaz has been able to cultivate over the years, thanks to all the controversy that consistently surrounds him and his brother.
However, Miller, if anything, is a fighter in the word's truest sense. His underrated boxing skills coupled with his high level jiu-jitsu acumen have cemented his place as one of the best in the world. His skills matched up against those of Diaz makes this fight a can't-miss for any hardcore fan.
Whether or not this highly anticipated battle will translate well into the main stream remains to be seen. But if there was any fighter that deserves to receive more recognition in the sport, it would be Miller.
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