Miller submits Guillard at UFC on FX 1
Jim Miller submitted Melvin Guillard by rear naked choke in the first round in the UFC on FX debut at Bridgestone Arena on Friday.
"I just found a way onto his back," Miller said in an interview after the fight. "That's just something I've always been able to do, securing the position. I'm confident I'm one of the most dangerous fighters in the world."
Miller was forced to recover after taking a big shot from Guillard early in the round. Once he did, he was able to secure the choke, and the win.
“I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to find out how hard he hits. He has explosive shots," Miller said. "I don’t get knocked down too often. I was able to find my home on his back in the scramble and was able to work my arm underneath his neck. I feel pretty good once I get in that position as I can usually work things the way I need to.
"The win is just so gratifying, here in the main event on FX.”
Once the fight went to the ground, Guillard was unable to regain the upper hand.
“I’ve actually been working back escapes all camp. I just fell the wrong way, fell right into him," Guillard said. "I hurt him, had him down. I think he was still hurt even when he had a hold of me. I don’t like to tap, but I had to. The way I fell he just got too tight a grip on me.
"I’ll be back. I want to fight my way back from the bottom up. That’s the right way to do it."
The victory vaults Miller back into contender status in the lightweight division.
Both fighters were coming off losses that stunted their rise up the division. Guillard saw his five-fight streak snapped against Joe Lauzon in October, while Miller’s seven-fight run ended in a decision against Benson Henderson in August.
Henderson is slated to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 on Feb. 26 for the lightweight title.
The scare of the night came in the first fight of the main card as Pat Barry dropped Christian Morecraft with a huge left hook in the first round of the heavyweight bout. Barry followed that with five punches to the head of the fallen Morecraft, who appeared to have been knocked out in the barrage.
Medical personnel rushed into the octagon to aid Morecraft, who lay on the mat for a couple minutes. He eventually sat in a stool before he left the ring under his own power.
Morecraft was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a precaution and was released early Saturday morning, a hospital spokesperson told FOXSports.com.
“I felt a little more at ease when they said Christian was alright,” Barry said. “Those were some pretty solid shots on the ground. I could only imagine. When they said they took him off, I kind of figured they were doing it just in case.”
The fight received “Fight of the Night” honors, meaning Barry and Morecraft will each get a $45,000 bonus.
Duane Ludwig also appeared to lose consciousness after Josh Neer applied the guillotine. It looked like Ludwig had tapped out, but his arm went limp as it came to the mat and it took a couple more seconds before the ref stopped the welterweight bout at 3:04 of the first round. Ludwig came to after a few moments, even giving a couple congratulatory claps to Neer.
“When I was on top of him I could feel blood trickle down my neck," Neer said. "I didn’t know how bad the cut was above my eye so I knew I had to finish him and finish quick. I saw an opening and got him. He’s probably the hardest puncher I’ve ever faced."
Ludwig landed some big shots early on, but couldn't sustain the attack.
“I was lighting him up. Shots to the body, shots to the head," Ludwig said. "Then he spits out his mouthpiece and gets a break. I hesitated for a split second and he caught me with the guillotine.”
In the other fight on the main card, Mike “The Hulk” Easton won a majority decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-29) over Jared Papzian in their bantamweight match.
Mike Easton scored a decision win over Jared Papazian in the second bout on the main card. The bantamweights provided plenty of action, but Easton sent Papazian home with a loss in his UFC debut.
“He’s a tough dude," Easton said. "I knew he was going to show up. He came to fight. I came to fight. We talked a little trash and put on a great show. Hey, us 135-pound fighters know how to bang and entertain. It’s non-stop action. And what a better time to do it than on the first FX show? There was also a lot of technique out there as well.”
Papazian thought he should have gotten the win, but thought it was an entertaining scrap nonetheless.
“Just a great fight. He was trying to take my head off and I was trying to take off his," Papazian said. "I really thought I got the better of the first two rounds and that last round we just went at it in the middle of the cage. The plan was to keep moving, in and out, hit and counter. And to watch out for his kicks because he can do some damage with those.”
On the preliminary card, Joseph Sandoval beat Nick Denis via first-round KO in a bantamweight bout; Daniel Pineda submitted Pat Schilling in the first round of their featherweight bout; Fabrício Camões got a first-round submission win over Tommy Hayden in their lightweight encounter; welterweight Charlie Brenneman decisioned Daniel Roberts; Khabib Nurmagomedov impressed in his UFC debut, improving to 17-0 in his MMA career with a lightweight submission win over Kamal Shalorus; and in a clash of middleweight veterans, Jorge Rivera capped his UFC career by going out on top with a TKo win over Eric Schafer in Round 2.