Tonight two of the most electrifying Lightweights on the planet will tangle in Atlantic City. In a city used to a Jager fueled boardwalk scuffle, this tilt should put all of the intricacies of MMA on full display. You can’t ask much more from a Wednesday night card with other notable fighters like Edson Barboza, John Lineker, and Pat Healy entering the cage. This specific post will take a look at the icing on the cake of this event, the five round scrap between Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and New Jersey native Jim Miller. On to the preview!
It might be a few weeks late, but we have some fireworks scheduled tonight. You know I love me some Donald Cerrone and that I make an effort to tune in whenever he fights. After losing his way a year ago, Cerrone vowed to rededicate himself to the sport and be the most active fighter in the UFC. He is well on his way to succeeding at both. This will be Cowboy’s 4th fight since last August and he has won his last 3 in dominant fashion. We know Cowboy’s gameplan when he enters the cage, he wants to strike from the outside, work the clinch, and eventually earn a takedown. Depending on his opponent, he may try to keep things standing and utilize his high level kickboxing. Coming in to Saturday, he will have to assess the well rounded Jim Miller and try to find a weakness to exploit en route to victory
Jim Miller is the litmus test of the Lightweight division. He can beat nearly anyone outside of the Top 10 in authoritative fashion, but when he faces the elite of the elite, his game seems to falter. If I had to pick out his strongest asset, I would say Miller’s grappling stands out brightest. He has that Matt Hughes-esque farm bred strength that is simply immeasurable on paper. After dropping a few fights to some of the top ranked fighters in the weight class, Miller has seen recent success against some less talented opponents. Submission wins over Yancy Medeiros and Fabricio Camoes reasserted Miller as a contender within the ranks.
As for the fight itself, I have a hard time seeing a dedicated, motivated Cowboy losing. He should look to keep the fight standing and use his superior speed and quickness to pick Miller apart and frustrate the hometown hero’s straightforward striking attack. Cerrone can tangle with Miller on the ground, but if that farm boy finds a choke that he likes, it is tough to get him to let go. Vegas has Cerrone as a 2-1 favorite, and while I see this trending closer to a pick ’em, you have to side with the fighter on the hotter streak. I’m pretty sure that the only force that could knockout Jim Miller would be a handle of Jack Daniels, therefore I doubt a striking Cerrone could complete that task. Look for a five round dismantling by former WEC fighter. Cerrone by decision.
No matter how this fight goes, these two scrappers have vowed to crack a few Budweiser’s in celebration after the event. Another reason to love this crazy sport we call MMA. Enjoy the fights!