Buy or Sell: Joe Lauzon will submit Jim Miller.
Sell- Even though Joe Lauzon’s last 3 wins earned him “submission of the night” bonuses, I see Lauzon winning via decision. Jim Miller is a black belt in BJJ under Jamie Cruz. Lauzon is dealing with a fighter that is the real deal on the ground; it’s not Melvin Guillard or Jamie Varner, which are the last two fighters Lauzon submitted. It’ll be a great battle between evenly matched fighters, but I got Joe by decision.
Sell. Joe Lauzon is tough, no doubt. The man’s 18 submission victories (including over the likes of Guillard, Varner and Brown) speak for themselves — but so do his 7 losses, three of which were also by submission.
Jim Miller, on the other hand, is closer to elite status and being a title contender than Lauzon, who many consider a spoiler more than a true contender. Plus, Miller’s four losses have been exclusively to world champions or those in championship contention, and only one of those losses came via submission. And lest we forget, Miller has 12 submission victories of his own.
In the end, Lauzon seems to flourish when he can use the element of surprise and his opponent’s underestimation of him to his advantage, and I don’t anticipate Miller coming into this fight unprepared. Win, lose or draw, I just don’t see Jim Miller falling prey to a Joe Lauzon submission. But hey, I’ve been wrong before.
I’m going to have to say sell on this one. While I think it is quite possible for Lauzon to come out of the octagon victorious on Saturday night, I find it hard to believe he will do so by way of submission. I am well aware of the fact that Jim Miller’s last fight ended in a submission loss to Nate Diaz back in May, but that submission came as a result of a relentless stand-up attack that Diaz utilized to batter Miller in the 2nd round. I just don’t see Joe being able to put a beating on Jim the same way Diaz did in the stand-up game, which resulted in the submission win. All that said, this has FOTN candidate written all over it!
Buy! As great as Miller is on the ground, I think it’s Lauzon’s ground attack that makes the difference in this fight. Not only can J-Lau chain submissions together, but he DIVES on limbs like my pit-bull on a prime rib. I think Lauzon gets a sub early in the first round, or late in the third.
Buy. Lauzon has shown time and time again that he is one of the best submission artists when the game is on the line. Miller is a seasoned pro, but Lauzon has the skills to finish if the opportunity presents itself.
In the Diaz fight, Miller may have realized that one of his weakness was dealing with the ground game of taller fighters at his level. He just looked bewildered by how much Diaz was able to wrap him up and control him. But I don’t think he could have fixed that weakness so soon. As far as the stand up goes, I think Lauzon has enough skills and smarts to use his reach, stay on the outside, and force miller to initiate the clinch or shoot for a takedown, exactly where Lauzon wants it. Lauzon is coming off a crazy submission against Varner and I think he’s got enough momentum and confidence to catch Miller in something slick and go home with another bonus.
Sell- Miller’s last loss was by submission to Nate Diaz. It was the only submission loss of his career and the only time he’s been stopped. Miller seems like the type to learn from his mistakes. If Lauzon is going to get the win, which I don’t think he will, it won’t be via submission.
I’m selling this prediction for the sole reason that Jim Miller is coming off of a loss…and not just any loss but the first non-decision loss of his career in a submission loss to a very skilled Nate Diaz. This was just the fourth loss of Miller’s already storied career and just the first to someone that has never held UFC gold, which means he is going to come out on fire and focused. Lauzon is a very dangerous fighter but the fact that Miller is coming off of a submission loss gives me the feeling that he will be very careful and strategic when the grappling begins, also taking into consideration the fact that he knows Lauzon’s strength lies in submissions and grappling. Miller only holds losses to Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson, and Nate Diaz. Every single one of these fighters has either held the UFC lightweight strap or has fought for it at least once. I think Lauzon is a great fighter and one of the most exciting to watch but I don’t think that he is in the upper tier of the division like the names listed above. I don’t only think Lauzon won’t defeat Jim Miller by submission, I don’t think Joe Lauzon will defeat Jim Miller, period. I’m taking Jim Miller by unanimous decision.