Jim Miller vs. Melvin Guillard Prediction

UFC Lightweight bout:  Jim Miller vs. Melvin Guillard

Odds: (-205 Miller /+165 Guillard )

Betting Pick: Miller

Bet on this fight at Bodog.com

In the main event, prolific grappler Jim Miller will square off against heavy-handed slugger Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard in a featured Lightweight bout. These are two of the more exciting young prospects in the Lightweight division, but with both guys coming off disappointing losses, a win here is crucial for them to reassert themselves as potential title challengers in the future. Guillard has shown a huge amount improvement since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter, but was manhandled and out grappled by Joe Lauzon in his last fight; a game plan Miller is more than capable of recreating. If Guillard wants to avoid a two-fight skid and the loss of all his hard-earned momentum, he is going to have to try to keep this fight standing as much as possible, since he will enjoy a big power and speed advantage on the feet.

Melvin Guillard is an extremely dangerous and athletic young fighter with fast, heavy hands and accurate boxing. Motivation was a big question early in his career, but under the tutelage of Greg Jackson he has grown into a serious Lightweight contender. Guillard is a threat to knock out anyone willing to stand with him, but thus far his career has been hampered by his porous takedown defense and lack of any real ground game. In his last fight, Joe Lauzon showed that while he has grown as a fighter, he is still vulnerable to an aggressive, technical grappler. There is no question that Guillard will pick Miller apart on the feet, but to do that he has to find a way to keep the fight standing, because if he has to work off his back underneath Miller he is pretty much done for.

Jim Miller is one of the Lightweight division’s most consistent and effective submission grapplers. A solid wrestler with great jiu-jitsu, Miller is a threat to finish fights and to ground opponents and grind out decisions while neutralizing their offense. On the feet Miller is actually fairly effective and underrated, but he would be foolish to stand with the faster, more powerful Guillard. If he looks for takedowns early and often and presses his advantage on the ground,though, he will be in a great position to hand Guillard his second consecutive loss.

This is a tough fight to call because both guys shine indifferent areas. On the feet, Guillard will work Miller over with superior technique, hand speed, accuracy, and power. If Miller can force this fight to the ground, Guillard is a fish out of water on his back and Miller’s wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and positional control will be far more than he can handle. Ultimately, I think the edge has to go to Miller here. Joe Lauzon illustrated a game plan to beat the “new and improved” Guillard, and Miller is in many ways a stronger, more physical Lauzon with better wrestling. I think Miller should be able to get this fight to the ground early and often, and from top position he can soften Guillard up with ground and pound while waiting for a mistake to capitalize on. Miller by submission.

Prediction: Jim Miller by second round rear naked choke.

To add  a little more excitement on fight night, you can bet on this fight at Bodog.com Odds. Check out my review of Bodog here…

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