Opening the evening's festivities, American Top Team-trained fighter and The Ultimate Fighter season five alumnus Cole Miller (17-4, 6-2 UFC) aims to extend his current two-fight winning streak to three as he battles fellow The Ultimate Fighter season five participant Matt Wiman (12-5, 6-3 UFC). Not to be outdone, Wiman is also sporting a two-fight winning streak with victories over Shane Nelson and Mac Danzing at UFC 107 and UFC 115 respectively. Miller's wins over Dan Lauzon and Ross Pearson in his last two appearances are a bit more impressive, but nobody can take away the fact that Wiman has suprised many by keeping his head above water in the world's premier mixed martial arts promotion.
Miller was recently in the news as he was called out by former WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone following his win over Chris Horodecki at the WEC's final event in December. Miller was keen on showing Cerrone what it truly means to be in the UFC, and a win over Wiman on Saturday night could go a long way in adding some fuel to the fire if Miller chooses to do so in the post-fight interview.
Wiman has remained relatively unknown to casual fans despite his stint on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He remains as one of the few fighters in the UFC who has succeeded despite never being in the running for the season's crown. That's a testament to the training he's done following the show, and the toughness he's shown inside the Octagon.
Unfortunately, I think his streak of victories will run its course on Saturday night. Miller has been tearing through the competition as of late with brilliant Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques and improving stand-up skills. He's also shown a propensity to tough out his opponent's offensive rushes and counter with his own brand of tactics.
While I do think Wiman has a good chance at producing an upset victory over Miller on Saturday night, Wiman's offense mostly hinges on takedowns and a high-paced stand-up offense. Miller's ground game continues to improve under the instruction of American Top Team, and he is exceptional at catching opponents in creative submissions with quick transitions. If Wiman happens to make a mistake, Miller has enough technique to neutralize him on the ground in grappling acumen.
It's difficult to judge where this fight will ultimately end. Wiman is a tough opponent to finish. I do, however, think Miller can out point Wiman and edge him out on points in the end. I'll go with an unexciting prediction of a decision with Miller ahead on the scorecards.