UFC 155: Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller Head-to-Toe Breakdown
In a fight that has "something of the night" written all over it, lightweight standouts Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller meet in the co-main event at UFC 155 Saturday, Dec. 29.
The matchup is a result of a lot of fight card shuffling, but I think we are all better off this way anyway.
This is an evenly matched, sure-to-entertain lightweight tilt, and I'm sure fans will be satisfied and electrified at its conclusion.
That said, there are some advantages and disadvantages for each fighter to be found in this one, and these differences may decide the fight's outcome.
Let's take a look at how J-Lau matches up with Miller in this head-to-toe breakdown.
Both Miller and Lauzon have some nice TKO victories on their resumes, but Lauzon has shown better one-punch power throughout his career inside the Octagon.
On the other hand, Lauzon's chin is more suspect than Miller's, as he was viciously knocked out by Anthony Pettis and repeatedly rocked by Jamie Varner in his two most recent outings.
Similarly, Miller was easily handled by Nate Diaz on the feet in his most recent fight and was rocked in his previous fight against Melvin Guillard.
Because of this, I fail to see an advantage on the feet either way in this contest, but I will say that Lauzon has better power, while Miller has the better chin.
Take that as you will; I'm calling this one a wash.
If there is a clear-cut advantage in this bout, it comes in the grappling department.
Lauzon has never shown outstanding wrestling in the Octagon, and Miller will hold an edge in a grinding, power versus power ground fight.
Miller's wrestling always looks stellar (save his performance against Benson Henderson), and I expect him to look strong and dominant in the grappling department against Lauzon.
Where Miller is the superior wrestler, Lauzon holds an edge in this contest with his explosive and technical submissions.
Winner of six (yes, six) Submission of the Night awards, Lauzon's Brazilian jiu-jitsu is as dangerous as anybody's inside the Octagon, and he is never shy about taking limbs and necks early in his fights.
Miller suffered the first submission loss of his career at the hands of Nate Diaz at UFC on Fox: Miller vs. Diaz but before that was regarded as one of the finest ground tacticians in the UFC's lightweight division.
I have no doubt that Miller can hold his own on the ground, but if I'm picking somebody to secure a tap in this one, I expect it to be J-Lau doing the cranking.
X-Factor for Lauzon: Start Quick
Joe Lauzon is always at his best early in fights, and he cannot allow Miller to dictate the pace in the opening frame of this matchup.
Lauzon can end a fight in any manner, and his likelihood of doing so decreases exponentially as a fight progresses. Because of this, he needs to get in Miller's face early and look for the knockout or submission before Miller can set up and find a groove.
X-Factor for Miller: Strength and Cardio
Miller is a big, strong lightweight, and if he can force Lauzon into a clinch/ground war, he will be able to wear him out and negate Lauzon's aggressive attack.
If Miller can dictate the pace and control where he fights by turning the table on Lauzon and becoming the aggressor, he will emerge victorious.
I like Joe Lauzon as much as the next guy (and the proverbial "next guy" likes him a lot), but I see Miller taking this fight with his strength, cardio and grind tactics.
Lauzon will make this a fight, and he may even come close to finishing early, but he had trouble with Varner's control until hitting a late submission in his most recent outing, and I think Miller can do the same.
I like Miller's submission defense more than Varner's, and I don't think Lauzon will catch the New Jersey native.
Prediction: Jim Miller via unanimous decision