UFC 172: Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros preview and the prognostication

Photo by Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

Jim Miller takes on Yancy Medeiros for the only lightweight bout in the spotlight on the main card for UFC 172 in Baltimore. Can Miller return to form and make another run at the title or will Yancy prove he can finally finish a fight that doesn't either end awkwardly or get overturned?

Jim Miller vs. Yancy Medeiros Lightweight

Man this really IS the most stacked card in UFC history!

Huh?

Oops...I got the names mixed up and thought it said Fedor Emelianenko circa 2005 reproduced out of Jeff Goldblum's teleportation machine from The Fly vs. the Croation Mecha-Cop.

You don't encounter many women in your day to day life do you?

Ok so what the hell is a Yancy Medeiros and when exactly does this card become the most stacked ever with only 3 fights left to preview?

Yancy is actually a solid fighter, and this is a solid fight on paper. If anything the only reason this fight doesn't feel as significant is because Miller has had a tough run. Miller is technically unbeaten in his last three, but only because Pat Healy was rocking the ganja beforehand, which got him busted by the athletic commissions. Still, Healy dominated Miller.

Both men have had their records guilded with marijuana. Yancy absolutely pasted Yves Edwards with a left uppercut that put him down, only to get the decision overturned by testing positive for marijuana (is it any wonder given his experience training with the Diaz brothers?). This is a tough fight for Miller. He needs to win in a big way because at 30 years of age, his prime years have surpassed him and his window is all but closed. Medeiros doesn't look like a 26 year old, but the Team Gracie Fighter would be a solid prospect if it wasn't for the unusual circumstances, like his thumb injury against Rustam Khabilov, surrounded his defeats.

Now that there's no escape, who can step to this?

Yancy is a massive LW (he didn't always fight at 155). In addition he throws some fairly low risk strikes with fairly high impact. He loves throwing the front kick to the body after tossing an outside leg kick from his traditional stance. His KO over Edwards was pure setup and calculation. He uses his reach in a very effective way.

6 knockouts (technically 7) is not too much in a career that spans 11 pro fights, but watching him fight gives you a sense of why he's so dangerous on the feet. He doesn't go crazy. He doesn't fall in love with his power. And he has a strict gameplan from the opening bell.

Miller is less calculated. He wins fights by creating havoc in the cage. His bag of tricks on the feet is limited to a straight left, right hook, and hard left high kick but all of that is complimented by his savage grappling skills. Some fighters are good with submissions because they allow the submissions to happen organically; either over time, and when an opponent opens themselves up for an opportunity.

Miller is not that kind of guy. He fights in a way to gets fighters to make more decisions than they normally would. The more decisions a fighter has to weigh, the more prone they are to a mistake.

So Yancy at +175 is the easiest bet in the world right?

Yes and no. I don't gamble personally. Luca Fury I am not.  But there's something to note about Yancy's game I haven't mentioned. For reasons unknown, he is beyond open for the right hook from the southpaw stance. Yves landed it constantly. Miller has a particularly effective right hook.

At this point in their careers, Miller is much better than Yves. I don't know that that necessarily translates to having more power but I do know that Miller's rushing style could pay dividends. Miller doesn't even need to use his right hook to knock him out. He just needs to use it to soften Yancy up for takedowns, where he's more than able to capitalize on grappling opportunities.

Normally I'd be all over Yancy with the upset pick. But Miller is not gonna stand back and get his sternum front kicked all day. Yves prefers to win fights standing and paid the price for gambling. Miller won't gamble that way.

Chances of Yancy Medeiros testing positive for marijuana?

Not an x-factor. Athletes can often be repeat offenders when it comes to typical steroids, but not when it comes to weed.

So you're picking Miller. Any chance he fights for a title again?

No way. Jim Miller is a great fighter, but at 30 years of age, he's gone well past his athletic prime. I'd be interested in seeing Paul Gift break down the numbers on the average age of former Pride and UFC champions. Though I have a feeling Randy Couture will skewer the numbers a bit.

Prediction: Jim Miller by Decision.

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