Mixed martial arts will take center stage in the sports universe once again on Saturday night for UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller.
There are quite a few interesting bouts on this free fight card, but perhaps none has been more debated than the main event between lightweights Nate Diaz and Jim Miller. For one reason or another, the MMA community seems to be split on who is going to come out on top in this one.
While MMA is a sport where anything can happen, I think it's time for a little reality check going into this fight.
Nate Diaz is a very, very good fighter. He has come a long way since his days on The Ultimate Fighter. He has wins over high-level opponents and is a definite top-10 lightweight...but to honestly believe that he should be the favorite in this fight against Jim Miller is absurd.
Just because he has the last name "Diaz" does not mean that Nate is as good as Nick. And quite frankly, Jim Miller is a fighter who is practically tailor-made to beat him in a five-round fight.
Miller is the owner of a ridiculous 21-3 professional mixed martial arts record with 10 of the wins coming in the UFC. He has beaten some very notable opponents, with his only losses coming against the very best that UFC has to offer—Gray Maynard, Frankie Edgar and current 155-pound champion Benson Henderson.
What's even crazier? Despite being the best in the world, neither Maynard nor Edgar nor Henderson could finish Jim Miller.
So where does that put Nate Diaz?
Well, let's just say his chances aren't very good.
Don't get me wrong—Diaz is a beast. He has victories over Melvin Guillard and even outclassed Donald Cerrone in his most recent fight...but the skeptic in me also points to the fact that he has lost to the likes of Joe Stevenson and Dong Hyun Kim.
Sure, the loss to Kim took place in the 170-pound division which he has since moved down from, but the point remains—Nate Diaz struggles with fighters who can take him down. This was also proven in the one-sided beatdown he took from Rory MacDonald.
Jim Miller can and by all accounts should be able to take Nate Diaz down numerous times throughout this bout. Not only that, but his striking is good enough that he won't get completely embarrassed on the feet should he struggle to get the fight to the ground.
Many will point to Diaz's jiu-jitsu skills as a rebuttal for my argument that he will get controlled by Miller on the ground; however the the reality is that, barring some cataclysmic mistake from Miller on the ground, there is no way that Nate Diaz is submitting him from the bottom. It hasn't happened to Miller in 24 pro fights. It's not going to happen on Saturday night either.
Though I'm not expecting a repeat of the one-sided ass-whooping that Michael Chandler put on Akihiro Gono on Bellator on Friday night, I do see Jim Miller winning this fight fairly decisively, very likely by a judges' decision.
I'm sure that I'm going to get backlash on this article for telling it like it is and I'm OK with that. Sometimes these things need to be said.
Don't call me a "hater" because I do believe that Nate Diaz is a good fighter...he's just not on Jim Miller's level.