Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hit the FX cable channel tonight (Jan. 20, 2012) with UFC on FX 1: "Guillard vs. Miller," live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
The event, which is the promotion's debut on the FX channel, will feature two scrappy lightweights as Melvin Guillard takes on Jim Miller as both try to climb the ranks of the 155-pound division after losing in their last outings.
Guillard was on cloud nine, riding a five- fight winning streak until he ran into Joe Lauzon, who halted his momentum in only 47 seconds of the opening round at UFC 136, which forced the "Young Assassin" back to the drawing board.
Miller, on the other hand, was seemingly one win away from a title shot, but came up short against Ben Henderson at UFC on Versus 5 as the "Smooth" one rag-dolled Miller for three rounds, snatching his title shot aspirations from his grasp.
Now, both lightweights hope to once again start their ascension back to the top of the ladder as they look to avoid back-to-back losses and prevent further damage to their careers.
Only one can take that positive step forward.
Make the jump for a complete breakdown of the UFC on FX 1 headliner between Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller.
It's no secret that Guillard prefers to stand on the feet and exchange leather. Being one of the fastest and most powerful strikers in the division will give you that confidence. Shane Roller, Evan Dunham and Waylon Lowe can testify to that, having tasted the knockout power of the "Young Assassin" in the first round of their respective fights.
Guillard will deliver strikes seemingly out of nowhere and with his precision and speed, can end a fight with one well placed punch, so it behooves opponents to not blink or they will find themselves waking up only to realize they've been knocked out.
If Guillard isn't able to land the knockout punch and is forced to the ground, he all of a sudden looks like a fish out of water. In fact, his last seven losses and eight out of nine overall have come via submission which only means one thing, the newly-christened Blackzilian definitely needs to dust off that old GI and brush up on his Jiu-Jitsu skills.
Jim Miller, on the other hand, hopes to right his ship by proving his one-sided beat down to Ben Henderson was an off night for him. Not one to make excuses, Miller recently revealed he was battling kidney infection and mononucleosis during his bout with Henderson..
But that was then and this is now, and unlike in his bout with Henderson, he now has to worry about strikes coming at him in high numbers per second.
Miller's advantage coming into the fight is the fact that he is an overall more well-rounded-mixed martial artist.
He can stand with the best of them or work you over for the entire fight and take you down and submit you all the same, as evidenced by 11 career submission victories.
His not-so secret weapon, however, is his gas tank, which doesn't seem to have an "E" on its gauge. Miller has proven time and time again that he can finish a fight as fresh as he started it. His cardio might play a huge factor should the fight go into the third round due to the fact the Guillard has proven that he too, can grind out a victory.
In the end, it will come down to who can impose their game plan first.
Guillard recently made the change from his long time master game-planning coaches at Jackson's MMA in New Mexico to join "The Blackzillians" in sunny Florida. Not to say his new crew won't have a great gameplan for him, but will it matter once they slam the cage door shut behind him?
Guillard will not abandon his instincts to stand-and-trade and go for the kill early. It has worked for him in the past and has earned him the reputation as one of the most exciting lightweights in the world, but the problem with that is, if he can't connect cleanly on Miller, he can expect a heavy dosage of takedowns.
Joe Lauzon showed that a calm, cool and collected approach can overcome an overzealous Guillard and that is exactly what Miller will try to do. While Miller has proven he can take a punch, it wouldn't be in Miller's best interest to prove it again by standing with Guillard.
Expect Jim to go for and get the takedown often and control the majority of the fight on the ground. He won't pull of the submission, but he will do enough to convince the judges to give him the unanimous decision victory.
Prediction: Jim Miller defeats Melvin Guillard via unanimous decision.
For our UFC on FX results and live blog click here.