Lightweight Pat Healy (30-16) opened up the UFC 159 main card with an impressive upset victory over Jim Miller (22-5). The win was huge for Healy who was making his first appearance in the Octagon since transferring over from Strikeforce. It's been a rough run lately for Miller who dropped to 11-4 in the UFC.
Miller looked good in the first round. He was sharper on the feet and outworked Healy in the clinch. However, as the fight wore on, Miller slowed and succumbed to the size advantage of Healy. From top position, Healy punished Miller with ground strikes. By the final round it was pretty much all Healy. In the closing minutes he took back control and locked in the fight ending rear naked choke.
What was the high point of the fight?
The scrambles, reversals, and escapes in the first round were incredible. The exciting grappling exchanges in the first few minutes set the tone for the rest of the fight.
Where do they go from here?
Not many fighters get the opportunity to make their promotional debut against a top 5 fight. Healy went above and beyond by not only making the fight competitive, but becoming only the second to ever finish Miller in a fight. He'll need another top opponent to see if he can maintain his momentum. I'd put him in against the winner of T.J. Grant and Gray Maynard at UFC 160 next month.
It's been a rough run for Miller over his last 5 fights. After putting together an incredible 7-fight streak he ran into current champ Ben Henderson. Since then he's gone 2-2 with both losses being the only time he's been finished in hsi entire MMA career. There's no doubt that he's still a top talent in the 155 lb. division, but he needs to get back on track. He should face the loser of Raphael Dos Anjos and Evan Dunham for his next fight.
Watch it now, later, or never?
This was, without a doubt, the best fight of the event. It went back and forth through every phase of combat. Go watch it now and thank me later.