Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight veterans Jim Miller and Clay Guida will duel this Saturday (Aug. 3, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 5 from inside Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Miller has been a proud member of the UFC Lightweight division since 2008, racking up the most wins in divisional history and most total Octagon trips of anyone in that time. He’s survived a pair of rough stretches in the last few years, but Miller has won two of his previous three and proven there’s still something left in the tank. Guida traveled around for a bit longer than Miller, fighting for organizations like Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) before finding his own way into the Octagon in 2008. In their shared 11 years of UFC competition, both men picked up big win streaks, faced tough losses, and are still standing strong at the end of it.
How hasn’t this fight happened yet? Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Record: 30-13 (1)
Key Wins: Joe Lauzon (UFC on FOX 21, UFC 155), Thiago Alves (UFC 205), Danny Castillo (UFC Fight Night 45), Yancy Medeiros (UFC 172), Jason Gonzalez (UFC Fight Night 150)
Key Losses: Dustin Poirier (UFC 206), Charles Oliveira (UFC on FOX 31), Beneil Dariush (UFC on FOX 15), Donald Cerrone (UFC Fight Night 45)
Keys to Victory: Miller is a crafty Southpaw with great jiu-jitsu. He has a wrestling background as well, but historically, a fair few of his losses came from being out-wrestled, so he’s somewhat hit-or-miss in that regard.
Miller has submitted 16 of his past opponents.
This seems like a fairly straightforward match up to me: Miller wants to kickbox at distance or take top position, whereas Guida is likely to push forward and make it a grinding wrestling match when possible.
At distance, Miller has two great weapons, the inside low kick and left straight. Both will have an important purpose in this fight, as Miller commonly knocks foes from their feet with his low kick, which should prove effective against Guida’s bouncy movement. As for the cross, Guida has been caught with straight shots while moving forward before, and Miller proved in his recent wins that he still has some pop in that left.
If he hurts “The Carpenter,” expect Miller to jump the back and look for No. 17.
Key Wins: B.J. Penn (UFC 237), Joe Lauzon (UFC Fight Night 120), Erik Koch (UFC Fight Night 112), Anthony Pettis (TUF 13 Finale), Rafael dos ANjos (UFC 117)
Key Losses: Charles Oliveira (UFC 225), Brian Ortega (UFC 199), Thiago Tavares (UFC Fight Night 77), Chad Mendes (UFC 164)
Keys to Victory: Clay Guida is a wild man! Guida’s primary skill set is that of grinder, utilizing his wrestling background and endless gas tank to wear opponents out and plant them on the mat. He’s always been tricky on the feet as well, but lately he’s done a better job of sitting down on his punches.
This is a match where the clock seems to favor Guida. The longer this fight carries on, the less likely Miller is to land a fight-changing blow, and it becomes more likely that Guida’s wrestling game will take over the fight. As such, Guida’s job early is to force Miller to expend energy without getting cracked in the process.
Guida was faced with a similar problem in BJ Penn last time out, and his answer was the clinch. That seems a wise solution for Miller as well, as Guida’s grinding mix of wrestling and boxing works well at close distance while limiting his foe’s ability to release power shots.
Bottom Line: It’s likely to be a fun fight between longtime fan favorites.
Let’s make it clear right away: this fight does not have a real impact on the title picture. Neither man is in the proverbial mix anymore. At this point, the most important consequences of victory are the second check. It also serves as proof that the victor is still competitive this deep into his professional career.
Similarly, a loss does not change the position of either man, as it’s clear there current role is to scrap with fellow veterans or test lower level Lightweights. Since both men have won more than lost recently, neither is in major risk of being forced into retirement or not receiving a new contract.
This fight is just about the 15 (or less) minutes in the cage, so enjoy them!
At UFC on ESPN 5, Jim Miller and Clay Guida will go to war in the co-main event. Which man will earn the victory?