In a rematch between two mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans who are at their best when blood is being spilled and punches are being landed, Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) mainstays Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller did not disappoint tonight (Sat., Aug. 27, 2016) at UFC on FOX 21 from Roger Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The two first met back at UFC 155, which saw Miller capture a bloody Fight of the Night unanimous decision.
In effort to back Miller up and make him exchange, "J-Lau" pressed forward in the early going with aggressive combinations. He even briefly threatened with an ankle lock after Miller fired back retreating counters. Miller did seem to catch Lauzon in the first few moments of the first round, but it was Lauzon who got out to an early lead with pressure and drive. To much surprise, the first five minutes didn't feature any blood.
The action pushed on, as Miller opened up loose and confident with his strikes to begin Round 2. Miller landed hard kicks and piercing body punches that temporarily slowed Lauzon, but "J-Lau" continued to return fire and land in damaging fashion. After Miller checked Lauzon's chin with a lead elbow, Lauzon secured a takedown with just under two minutes remaining in the round, gained momentum and began to score points from top position.
Possibly down on the judges' scorecards entering the third round, Miller came out aggressive and with purpose. After catching Lauzon with a nasty uppercut, Miller unloaded everything and the kitchen sink, including knees to the body, elbows in the clinch and malicious hooks. But again, it was a takedown from Lauzon that burst Miller's bubble and sent the action back down to the ground. Miller, tired from his previous offensive onslaught, had little for a primed Lauzon. After getting back to his feet with roughly one minute to go, Miller wasn't able to keep Lauzon off of against the cage. Lauzon secured another takedown, temporarily had Miller's back, reversed back into top position and nearly sunk in an arm bar before the bout came to a head.
In the end, it was Miller who did enough on two of the judges' scorecards to earn the split-decision win. He notches another victory over Lauzon and sparks a two-fight win streak that will bring him into 2017. It was quite the well-rounded performance for Miller who was coming off a first-round knockout over Takanori Gomi back at UFC 200 this past July.
MMAmania.com is delivering LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 21 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the UFC Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.