Anthony Pettis vs. Jim Miller Results: Winner and Reaction from UFC 213

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08:  (L-R) Anthony Pettis smiles at Jim Miller after their lightweight bout during the UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Anthony Pettis didn't wow the UFC 213 crowd the way he did back in the WEC. He did, however, take a clean-cut win over grizzled veteran Jim Miller.

Miller opened the first round on offense, stalking Pettis down and chopping him with multiple leg kicks. While he found early success on offense, however, he conceded the center of the cage to the former champion and gave him the room to work. That allowed Pettis to get comfortable throwing his signature kicks and, eventually, swing the momentum (and the score cards) with a vicious combination.

Despite losing his last fight, Jim Miller has been on a bit of a hot streak of late.
Despite losing his last fight, Jim Miller has been on a bit of a hot streak of late.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The second started with Miller looking to take the lead once again, but a head kick landed for Pettis, splitting Miller wide open. Though Miller powered through the shot to get a takedown, Pettis flashed his underrated grappling skills to escape, take dominant position and once again secure 10 points with the judges. 

Whether he was unnerved by Pettis' crafty ground skills or exhausted from two tough rounds, Miller took a more stand-up-focused approach in the third. That, however, is not wise against a man once regarded as one of the deadliest strikers in MMA. Miller plodded around the cage while Pettis stalked forward, peppered him with strikes and outmuscled him in the clinch at every engagement. 

The result was a clean, unanimous 30-27 decision win for Showtime.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

This was a much-needed win for Pettis. After dropping the UFC lightweight title to Rafael dos Anjos in 2015, Pettis' career basically imploded as he dropped two more fights to Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza. While a win over Charles Oliveira gave him a surprise title opportunity in December, the result was a vicious beating from Max Holloway.

Beating Miller doesn't erase that ugly 1-4 run, but it does help him to regain his footing, at least momentarily. Despite coming off a tough loss of his own, Miller is a respected veteran with recent wins over Joe Lauzon and Thiago Alves. Pettis taking a clean victory puts him in a position to return to the lightweight top-10 and potentially rebuild his contender status.

Pettis isn't "back" quite yet, but this is the performance he needed to regain his confidence and reestablish himself with fans. Another win like that and it might just be enough for him to return to the title picture in the wide-open lightweight division.

Related

    Report: Cerrone, Price Agree to Fight

    Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone and Niko Price have verbally agreed to fight on September 19 at UFC 253

    MMA logo
    MMA

    Report: Cerrone, Price Agree to Fight

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    DC, Stipe Make Weight ⚖

    MMA logo
    MMA

    DC, Stipe Make Weight ⚖

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    4 Ways Cormier Can Beat Miocic at UFC 252

    MMA logo
    MMA

    4 Ways Cormier Can Beat Miocic at UFC 252

    Lyle Fitzsimmons
    via Bleacher Report

    Is Cormier MMA's Heavyweight GOAT?

    The champ puts his legacy on the line at UFC 252

    MMA logo
    MMA

    Is Cormier MMA's Heavyweight GOAT?

    Scott Harris
    via Bleacher Report