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Two of the UFC's rising young middleweights may meet at UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City on September 19th, as a bout featuring Aaron "A-Train" Simpson (5-0, 1-0 UFC) and Dan Miller (11-2, 3-1 UFC) is in the works for the event, according to MMA Junkie:
Simpson first posted news of the bout on his Facebook page. However, perhaps jumping the gun before he got the greenlight to officially announce the fight, he later issued a disclaimer: "Sorry. That was not official. Still waiting."
Simpson has an outstanding wrestling pedigree as a two-time All American and former coach at Arizona State, and now as a wrestling instructor and full-time fighter at Arizona Combat Sports, but his heavy hands have gotten the most notice in his MMA career. With five (T)KO stoppages in five career fights, including a first-round victory over Tim McKenzie in his UFC debut which earned him a Knockout-of-the-Night bonus, Simpson has proven to be as dangerous on the feet as he is with his takedowns.
Miller is a submission specialist and a product of Jamie Cruz and Mike Constantino's AMA Fight Club in northern New Jersey, along with his brother and UFC lightweight, Jim Miller. The BJJ brown belt was thought to be on a tear through the UFC's 185-lb ranks after three straight victories, but a recent decision loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC 98 derailed those plans for Miller, and showed he was unable to utilize his vaunted submission game when faced with the suffocating top control of the Team Quest-trained Sonnen.
Although some may think that this bout will end up like Sonnen vs. Miller, Simpson has shown more of a willingness to stand and trade rather than resort to his excellent wrestling, despite his less than-refined striking. Miller has shown adequate stand-up skills, and he may be able to stun Simpson on the feet in order to get top-position on the ground where his submissions are most dangerous. Simpson is more than capable of holding Miller down for three rounds if he chooses to shoot, but he is far less experienced than Sonnen, and if his submission defense is anything like fellow wrestling standout Jake Rosholt's, the "A-Train" may be tapping before long.