Photo via Sherdog
It took stepping in for an injured Phil Baroni at UFC 118 for Dan Miller to save his position with the UFC as he defeated John Salter by unanimous decision. Tonight in Montreal the New Jersey native would look to find more security as he faced Canadian Joe Doerksen on the final bout of the preliminary card. Before defeating Salter had lost three consecutive fights but Miller looked back to his old self as he used heavy pressure and an aggressive style to edge the crafty Doerksen by way of split decision.
The fight got off to a slow start before Doerksen hook brought the crowd to life. Miller returned fire immediately before taking Doerksen to the mat. With both fighters being extremely experienced the ground they battled for position with Miller threatening Doerksen's arm before nearly catching "El Dirte" in a guillotine choke. Miller did his best to work an effective ground and pound but the MMA veteran was able to avoid taking heavy damage. Doerksen continued to work from his back but Miller's top control.
In the second Miller came out on fire as he once again used a combination to set up and secure the takedown. His position was short lived as Doerksen pulled a reversal and found himself on top. Miller did his best to keep Doerksen wrapped up but the Canadian scored with punches and elbows. Miller returned to trying up Doerksen and managed enough room to create a scramble which resulted with Miller back in top position. From there Miller settled into the ground and pound but Doerksen refused to rest off his back as he launched upkicks and threatened with a kimura in an effort to sweep. Doerksen showed tenacity in fighting from the bottom position but Miller continued to apply the pressure as the round came to a close.
In the final round it was Doerksen who got off first as he connected with two punches before the fight hit the canvas in the third. As Miller once again settled in with punches and elbows Doerksen began to show the effects of the damage taken as his face bloodied. The same was true for Miller as well due to Doerksen's continued resistance from the bottom position. Doerksen knew he had to get back to his feet to have a chance but Miller would not allow the opportunity as he drug him back to the mat repeatedly. When the final bell sounded Doerksen looked the worse for wear as Miller's ground and pound added up over the course of the fight.
The judge's awarded Dan Miller a split decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) and while the result may come as a shock to some, with the recent trend of poor decisions it should actually come as little or no surprise. The victory marks the second win in a row for Miller as he looks to get climb back up the ladder while the loss makes it back to back defeats for Doerksen.