When we last left our heroes...Jim Miller is one of those fighters; on the cusp of the elite, but missing that extra bit of talent that could break him into the upper echelon.
I have to admit. Watching Miller fight is one of the more pleasurable MMA experiences. He's pure blue collar all the way, and yet despite that, he functions like a virtuoso. Dynamic, yet grindy, and always with a nose for the finish - who doesn't like watching Miller fight?
He's on a bit of skid, however. He would have been 2-3 in his last five except Pat Healy hung out with Nick Diaz the night before I guess, with a suspension from the athletic commission to prove it. His other two losses are to Nate Diaz and Benson Henderson; in other words, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Opposite Miller is the less well established Camoes. He's been around MMA for a very long time, but his career began with a 5-5 record with his second pro loss coming to Anderson Silva.
Following his .500 record he wen't 9-2-1 although his first UFC appearance was a draw with Caol Uno and a loss to Kurt Pellegrino. Needless to say, he's always been better than his UFC record indicates, but also not as good as his record outside of the UFC would conclude. So with that said...
What both men can do: Camoes isn't some lights out dynamo, but on the ground he's incredibly fluid. From his back he moves as good as anybody else, with fantastic hips to put him a position for an armbar where he's able to transition to an advantageous position. He has decent raw power with his kicks, and his right hand, though nothing crazy.
Miller's never been a great boxer. But he throws a quick one two from his southpaw stance, and has a pretty nasty left high kick. It's not just grappling, which is good. It's his ability to find the submission amidst the scramble. That's what separates good grapplers from good MMA grapplers. It's not enough to know the mechanics of grappling. Knowing how to avoid the mechanics in the transition to get from point A to point D without the B and C is the trick.
What both men can't do: Still, Miller is still fairly hittable. He doesn't have especially great defense, can be controlled by a top heavy wrestler, and isn't very versatile on the feet.
Camoes also has various flaws. He's pretty inert on the feet. He doesn't jab, and doesn't create distance well. In addition, he'll need the fight on the ground where Miller can keep it standing. In other words, this is just a plain terrible stylistic nightmare matchup for Camoes in addition to Miller simply being the superior fighter.
Plus there's the scramble catch- while Camoes is a gifted grappler, he's been caught before, all by guys who got him during transitions where Miller excels. Open and shut case in my opinion...
X-Factor: Though I guess you could always argue Miller is losing some of his mojo. Even disregarding Healy's performance and size advantage, Miller didn't look all that great. Fighters who have their foot all the way on the gas usually burn out in dramatic fashion. Is now the time for Miller and will Camoes reap the reward of said deterioration? Hell no. But you never know.
Prediction: Jim Miller by Rear Naked Choke, round 3.