UFC on FX 1: Breaking Down Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller Fight
Around this time a year ago, Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller were just becoming two of the biggest contenders in the UFC Lightweight division.
However, after suffering pretty bad losses in the second half of 2011, both fighters are back to just being "in the mix" despite going on impressive runs.
Miller was heavily considered the top contender after Gray Maynard, until his seven-fight win streak was snapped by former WEC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Guillard was also on a lengthy winning streak until October, when Joe Lauzon served him his first loss since 2009.
Now, both fighters will look to get back into their winning ways as they headline the UFC's first event on FX.
Here is the complete break down for this exciting matchup.
Guillard is one of the most formidable strikers in the lightweight division, possessing a pair of fast, heavy hands that can knock any one out.
With 19 of his 29 victories coming via knockout or technical knockout, it's clear that Guillard likes to stand and bang. In his most recent win, Guillard knocked out WEC-crossover Shane Roller in just over two minutes into the first round.
Prior to that victory, Guillard took Knockout of the Night honors, when he finished Evan Dunham with some vicious knees in the first round last January.
Miller has decent striking but has always been known for his grappling abilities, preferring to work his ground game.
Both fighters have backgrounds in wrestling giving them excellent take down skills and top control.
Miller takes the edge in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu department because he holds a black belt in the art and has shown to be phenomenal grappler in the Octagon. In his last two wins, Miller out worked Kamal Shalorous and Charles Oliveira on the ground before eventually finishing both fighters.
Despite his wrestling and judo background, Guillard has had problems with top-level grapplers in the past and only holds a blue in jiu-jitsu.
His guard game and overall grappling abilities are just not on par with Miller.
Miller has proven to be one of the more stealthier submission artists in the UFC.
With only three out of his nine UFC wins coming by submissions, although he has 11 career victories via tap out, Miller has taken Submission of the Night honors twice.
His most astounding tap out win came over highly touted jiu-jitsu prodigy Charles Oliveira at UFC 124. In the first round, Miller was able to lock in a tight knee-bar and force his Brazilian foe to tap.
Guillard owns two submission wins in his career but is nowhere near the skill level of Miller in this area of the game. In fact, Guillard has the propensity to get caught with submissions as all but one of his losses have come via tap out.
Guillard is clearly the bigger fighter in this matchup, with his amazingly cut physique.
Owning a pair of heavy hands, Guillard is one of the most powerful guys in the division and keeps opponents on their toes with his knock out abilities.
Miller is a strong fighter as well but does not have the explosiveness or pure power of Guillard.
Guillard has only gone to a decision nine times out of his 41 career bouts.
With an all or nothing style, Guillard is usually finishing opponents or getting finished making his bouts exciting, yet usually short.
Miller, on the other hand, is no stranger to the decision win and has great cardio that has become a great asset to his game. Against Kamal Shalorous, Miller was able to out work the Iranian-British lightweight when he started gassing in the later rounds.
If Miller can take the fight into the later rounds, he'll have the upper hand.
Guillard: Riding a five-fight win streak before facing Joe Lauzon, Guillard got cocky as he looked to further his status as a leading lightweight contender and got caught in a 47-second rear-naked choke.
Submissions have always been his weakness as eight of his nine losses have come via tap out. Decorated grapplers such as Lauzon and Nate Diaz have been able to overcome Guillard's striking and expose his weak points.
His key to victory is to keep the fighting standing and pressure Miller, working his strikes to soften the New Jersey native up, if not knock him out.
If the fight does go to the ground, Guillard must be weary of the submission attacks and keep a dominant position. If he can avoid being finished and rain down ground and pound blows, he should be able to take the win.
Miller: The last thing Miller should do is stand and trade with Guillard as his striking abilities are just not at that level yet.
Miller has had trouble against wrestlers with good striking, having been dominated by Benson Henderson in his last outing. However, that fight further displayed his dangerous submissions as he did catch the former champion a few times in some deep chokes.
If Miller wants to get back to his winning ways he has to get Guillard to the ground and grab a hold of his neck for either a guillotine or rear-naked choke.
This exciting matchup will feature two very hungry fighters as both Miller and Guillard want to get back into the title hunt and put on a good showing.
As both guys look to bounce back from their lengthy winning streaks being snapped, headlining the first event on FX should only further their passion for victory.
Guillard will swing hard in the opening round and try to knock Miller out quickly. If he can weather the blows and somehow find his way to the ground, Miller should have no trouble submitting Guillard.
If the fight goes more than one round, Miller will have the edge.
Prediction: Miller via submission (second round)