Donald Cerrone (23-6, 3 KO’s, 15
Donald Cerrone has always been one active cowboy and not one to turn aside an opportunity to throw down as long as there's money on the line. He is the consummate hired gun and whenever he enters the Octagon the fans never get shortchanged. In essence, he is exactly what any MMA organization wants and needs although he's been thus far unable to scale the apex of the formidable UFC mountain. His resume is replete with "(pick your noun -Fight, Knockout, Submission, Performance) of the Night" achievements and even the most cynical fans have nothing but love for the Cowboy.
But what makes this upcoming match so very special is that Cerrone's opponent has an equally zealous fan base with both fighters cut from the same gritty cloth of blood and guts liberally doused with ample doses of steely determination. The Cowboy has been a killer over his last three matches with consecutive Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Performance of the Night victories. Cerrone paid off nicely as a +150 underdog in UFC odds when he stunned one of the preeminent lightweight up-and-comers, Brazilian sensation Edson Barboza, with a sublimely executed rear naked choke in the opening round of UFC on Fox back in April of this year.
Jim Miller (24-4, 3 KO's, 13 Subs)
Jim Miller has gone four straight matches without a loss though his No Contest to Pat Healy was originally ruled a submission loss at 4:02 of the third round until Healy tested positive for marijuana in a post fight drug test. (Just an aside here folks. Shouldn't any loss to someone high on weed be counted double instead of being overruled? I mean if someone who has recently sparked up a fatty can beat your ass shouldn't that mean an extra win for the stoner and an extra loss for the opponent?).
Miller's last fight was a win over UFC newcomer Yancy Medeiros via guillotine choke at 3:18 of round one. Prior to that he stopped Fabricio Camoes in the opening round of their bout at UFC 168 by armbar, then the No Contest to Healy and before that was the Fight of the Year (2012) against Joe Lauzon where Miller won a unanimous decision.
UFC Free Pick
As of this writing there are no UFC odds on this one but expect that the line will be a veritable coin flip when the offshore books start dealing. Jim Miller has phenomenal wrestling skills and his beefy body belies his lightweight status. However, Donald Cerrone stands five inches taller and holds a two-inch reach advantage. On the mat Cerrone is equally as devastating and standing up he is even more accurate than Miller. He is also a much more active fighter who never has to worry about ring rust.
Believe it or not this is one of the few fights that I could completely enjoy without a nickel wagered on it because it is so evenly matched and I don't see a +EV situation unless the bookmakers made Cerrone an underdog of +120 or greater in UFC odds. Conversely, I wouldn't make Cerrone my UFC betting pick if he was north of a -120 favorite therefore I am content to kick back and watch the fireworks as two ground tacticians employ their own brand of mat mastery against one another and may the best man win.Don't forget fight fans, this is a main event so it will be a scheduled five-rounder. If you've got to have action go with Cerrone who has recently defeated a better caliber of opponent but may I add this caveat emptor before betting Cerrone, Miller is a Jersey boy and this bout will be held in AC where he might just get the hometown discount if this one goes the distance.