UFC on Fox 3 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Scott Johnson - 5/1/2012
Jim Miller and Nate Diaz will meet in the main event of the latest UFC on FOX card this Saturday. Miller (-225) has long been at the top of the division, but despite an 8-1 record since mid-2009, a shot at UFC Lightweight Title has eluded him. Diaz (+175) has been living in the shadow of his older brother, but with back-to-back impressive performance he has thrust himself into the title conversation.
Both fighters are brazilian jiu jitsu black belts and have won the majority of their fights by submission. It is hard to determine who will have the grappling edge, although Miller does average more submission attempts per fight. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that he aggressively pursues submission opportunities even to his own determent as was the case in the Ben Henderson fight. If there is an edge on the mat, Miller is a former NCAA Wrestling champion and considering Diaz’s past difficulties with wrestling-based fighters this could be the most significant aspect of the grappling comparison.
Diaz is well known for his patented “Stockton Slap” and does a gets nice extension on his punches to further maximize his reach advantage. He changes levels nicely, battering his adversary’s midsection, and he is most effective when he is pushing the action and forcing his opponent to move backwards. Against Donald Cerrone he continually forced “Cowboy” to back pedal and reset, which severely limited his offensive output.
Although Miller only has three wins by knockout, he has shown decent power and he is generally quite comfortable with his striking. Miller effectively uses his speed and movement to constantly attack his opponent primarily with his hands and sometimes mixing in kicks.
This a difficult fight to predict, but when it comes down to it there are a number of areas that stand out when making a final prediction.
First, although Diaz looked fantastic against Takanori Gomi and Donald Cerrone, both opponents were willing to engage in a style of fight that suited Diaz. Standing directly in front of Diaz, both fighters allowed him to exploit his reach advantage and land his punches at will.
Secondly, Diaz normally has a distinct conditioning advantage. However, this shouldn’t be the case against Miller. Miller has equally-as-impressive cardio and will have no problem fighting the full five rounds no matter how hard Diaz pushes the pace.
In addition, Miller has an excellent chin and has shown an uncanny ability to take punishment. His durability was best exemplified in his fight with Ben Henderson where Miller took a significant amount of punish from bell to bell. Similar to the issue of cardio, Diaz thrives when his opponent begins to fade as a result of the accumulation of punches. But, again, I don’t anticipate Miller succumbing to such a fate.
Finally, this will be the first time in more than two years that Diaz will face a wrestling-based opponent at lightweight, and Miller also has the BJJ skills to match Nate on the ground. Conversely, Miller’s only two losses in the last five years have come against Henderson and Gray Maynard, who both used their wrestling and overall physical strength to neutralize Miller. So when comparing the fighter profiles that have historically given each man problems, we can see that this also favours Miller.
My prediction for is Miller to get his hand raised at the end of the night and at -225 that is not a bad investment, but it is not the only investment possibility. In a joint 46 fights, these two fighter have combined to be finished only once (Diaz via submission in 2006) while having gone to a total of 17 decisions. This is a clear indication that any form of prop bet based on the length of the fight, for example taking the total rounds to go ‘over,’ is a sensible bet.
Ultimately, both men are exciting fighters that have combined for 12 fight bonuses. If you have difficulty discerning which fighter will emerge victorious and would rather just sit back and enjoy the action, then a bet on this bout to be Fight of the Night would also be a well-placed venture.
UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs Miller is going to be an entertaining night of fights from start to finish with a lot of betting potential,
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