Last night (Jan. 20, 2012) two Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights battled to regain their "title contender" status when Melvin Guillard went toe-to-toe with Jim Miller at UFC on FX 1, LIVE from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Both men needed a win. Both men have proven to be capable of finishing fights in a big way. It was essentially like throwing a ham-hock in the middle of two hungry wolves and telling them it was time for dinner.
The victorious one-man wolf pack ended up being Jim Miller, who proved that he still has what it takes to handle business when it really counts. By notching the win, Miller was able to get his name back "in the mix," but what exactly does his immediate future look like?
Follow me after the jump and we'll discuss what may be next for the winner of last night's UFC on FX 1 main event: Jim Miller.
Before Miller took on Ben Henderson at UFC on Versus 5 on Aug. 14, 2011, in Milwaukee, Wisc., it looked as though the AMA product was just one win away from getting a title shot.
He had gone undefeated (7-0) and was running through fighters at warp speed. His ground game just kept getting better. His level of toughness only continued to rise. He was amassing a lot of hype and accruing a stable of hardcore fans.
It all came to a halt when "Bendo" essentially beat up for three frustrating rounds. It exposed some things. It made people ask: "Is Henderson that good or is Miller that overrated?"
After seeing Henderson's performance against Clay Guida at UFC on Fox 1 on Nov. 12 in Anaheim, Calif., and seeing Miller's stellar submission against Guillard, the answer to the question is much clearer than before.
So, what's next?
The UFC 155-pound division is essentially a "murderer's row." There are no easy fights. With that said, Miller wouldn't want it any other way. If he's really a top lightweight, he'll need to get back in there and keep proving it. No rest for the weary.
But who do you throw in there with him? I'm just gonna say it: Nate Diaz.
Can you imagine? Two of the scrappiest lightweights in the game. Two guys with phenomenal jiu-jitsu. Both coming off wins. Both looking to prove they belong in the upper echelon.
Joe Lauzon and Anthony Pettis are previously engaged, as they will do battle with each other at UFC 144 on Feb. 25 in Saitama, Japan (the same night that the top two lightweights, Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson, will fight for the title).
So Diaz makes sense, no?
It's got "fight of the night" written all over it. I'd pay to see it. So would you.
Got a better idea for a match up? We're all ears. Light up the comment section with your best sugegstions!
Read a full recap, complete with blow-by-blow analysis of UFC on FX 1 right here.