Cesar Gracie States Case for Nate Diaz Title Fight with Win over Jim Miller

First LastCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2012

NEW YORK - MARCH 06:   UFC lightweights Nate Diaz (L) and Jim Miller (R) pose with UFC president Dana White at a press conference at Radio City Music Hall on March 06, 2012 in New York City.  UFC announced that their third event on the FOX network will take place on Saturday, May 5 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
Michael Nagle/Getty Images

The UFC's lightweight division is the sport's deepest, and while reigning UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson prepares for a rematch with former champion Frankie Edgar, top contenders Nate Diaz (15-7) and Jim Miller (21-3) will fight in a five-round main event at the UFC on FOX 3 card on May 5.

Many fans are expecting to see the winner of the Miller-Diaz bout getting a title shot before the year's end, but they also may end up fighting former WEC champion Anthony Pettis to determine an absolute No. 1 contender if the UFC decides otherwise.

Cesar Gracie, who is Diaz's coach, broke down the matchup in an interview with Tatame.com and gave his thoughts on a possible title opportunity with a win over Miller.

I guess it’s going to be a good fight. Nate Diaz is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, and Jim Miller is a good obstacle to overcome. He has good wrestling skills and heavy hands, he’s strong. We’re not underestimating him, but I guess Nate is better than him both on the stand-up and on the ground.

Miller was able to rebound from a defeat to Henderson when he submitted Melvin Guillard in the very first round of their bout from January. A seven-fight win streak preceded the loss to Henderson.

Diaz has looked better than ever after two very impressive wins over Donald Cerrone and Takanori Gomi. His decision victory over Cerrone was only his second win to go the distance.

“I guess he deserves it in case he gets this win," Gracie said. "He defeated Cerrone, who was one of the firsts of the line and had a good performance against Gomi and now is fighting another contender. Cerrone is still a top guy, so if Nate can beat up these guys he deserves to be the next challenger."

UFC on FOX 3 will also include Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks, Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher and Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson.