UFC On Fox 3 Fight Card Primer: Jim Miller Vs. Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz and Jim Miller face off during the UFC on FOX 3 weigh-ins at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on May 4, 2012. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the main event of this weekend's UFC on Fox 3 show, Jim Miller (21-3; 10-2 UFC) faces Nate Diaz (15-7; 10-5 UFC) in a pivotal Lightweight match-up. The USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings currently have Miller ranked at #5 in the Lightweight division and Diaz just below him at #7. The Fox card begins Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with prelims starting at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on Fuel TV.

What was already an intriguing fight got a little more interesting this week. Dana White announced that, for Nate Diaz at least, a UFC Lightweight title shot is on the line here, as Diaz will move on to face the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson should he defeat Miller. For Miller, a win here will move him 1 or 2 fights away from that shot. Aside from those title implications, this is still a fascinating fight. You have the Diaz style boxing and Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu of Nate going up against the rugged grappling and submission game of Miller. It's a great clash that could play out in many ways.

How do these two stack up?

Miller: 28 years old | 5'8" | 71" reach
Diaz: 27 years old | 6'0" | 76" reach

What have these two done recently?

Miller: W - Melvin Guillard (Sub) | L - Ben Henderson (UD) | W - Kamal Shalorus (TKO)
Diaz: W - Donald Cerrone (UD) | W - Takanori Gomi (Sub) | L - Rory MacDonald (UD)

How did these two get here?

Just one year ago, Jim Miller was one fight away from a title shot. His impressive win streak brought him to a clash with Ben Henderson where a Miller win would likely launch him into #1 contender status. But Henderson upset Miller, eventually using that momentum to claim the belt himself. Miller has since bounced back with a big win over Guillard, but he's in a tough spot now. With Henderson currently holding the title, and Miller having such a definitive recent loss to him, you can see why a win here won't guarantee him a title shot this time. But if he keeps winning, that shot will become more and more difficult to deny.


Related: UFC On Fox 3: The Grappling Tendencies Of Jim Miller And Nate Diaz | UFC On Fox 3 Judo Chop: The Southpaw Striking Of Jim Miller


Nate Diaz is a former Ultimate Fighter winner who came into the UFC in 2007 with a very promising future. But after winning his first 4 straight, he ran into problems as a series of grinding wrestlers defeated him. Nate dropped 3 of his next 4 and decided to move up to Welterweight. There, he went 2-2 before dropping back down. He returned late last year with a win over Pride veteran Takanori Gomi, then a great win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 141. There's a bit of marketing at play in Diaz's proposed title shot here, as the Diaz name has been hot in the past year thanks to big brother Nick, but a win over Miller would indeed make him a viable contender.

Why should you care?

The title contention is one reason, but this is also just a great fight. I'm fascinated to see how each man approaches this, and could see it going down in so many ways. This has the potential to be a real classic.

More UFC on Fox 3 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC on Fox 3

UFC on Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Rousimar Palhares Vs. Alan Belcher Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: The Grappling Tendencies Of Jim Miller And Nate Diaz - Ben Thapa

UFC On Fox 3 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3 Judo Chop: The Southpaw Striking Of Jim Miller - Fraser Coffeen

UFC On Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Pat Barry Vs. Lavar Johnson Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3's Jim Miller: 'When I Get Hold Of Him, I'm Going To Be The Stronger Guy' - Steph Daniels

UFC On Fox 3 First Two Prelims Now On Facebook - Ben Thapa

UFC On Fox 3 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Fuel TV Prelims Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3: Danny Castillo Says He'd Rather Die Than Let His People Down - Steph Daniels

UFC On Fox 3: Full Card Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3 'Dark Matches' Dissection - Delorme Vs. Denis, Massenzio Vs. Vemola - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3: Lack Of Star Power Will Test The UFC Brand - Fraser Coffeen

UFC On Fox 3: ESPN Will Not Show Event Live In UK - KJ Gould

UFC On Fox 3: Johny Hendricks Discusses Josh Koscheck, Koscheck Talks About Boxing - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Dana White Video Blog Number 2 - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Is Josh Koscheck Too Old To Beat Johny Hendricks? - Kid Nate

UFC On Fox 3: Dana White Video Blog Part 1 - Clowning On Faber - Tim Burke

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