UFC Lightweight Division: Melvin Guillard vs. Jim Miller
Staff Picks: Miller – 4, Guillard – 2
Community Top Pick: Miller via Submission in Round 2
Anton Gurevich: I think Melvin Guillard owes himself a strong performance after what happened with Joe Lauzon at UFC 136. Jim Miller is a well-rounded fighter with every necessary attribute to become a champion in the UFC, but I feel like Melvin Guillard can keep the fight standing, where he has a clear advantage over his opponent. Guillard’s transfer to the Blackzillians is the X factor in this match-up, but I still think that with the right mindset “The Young Assassin” will get his hand raised in Nashville, Tennessee. My pick is Melvin Guillard via KO/TKO in Round 2.
Joey Santosus: Each of these Lightweights were so close to gold in 2011 that they could taste it. Jim Miller continued to dominate anyone in the UFC not named Gray Maynard, while Melvin Guillard reeled off five consecutive victories under the tutelage of Greg Jackson. What could have easily been a title eliminator, however, will instead decide which man bounces back from defeat, as both ended their year with a loss. Extremely dangerous in their respective crafts, this one is likely to come down to who makes the first mistake. Should Miller get caught with his hands down, it could be a short night for the AMA fighter. However, I suspect Guillard, prone to mental lapses, will get himself into trouble on the mat. Jim Miller via 1st Rnd Submission.
Trent Reinsmith: Not too long ago, both of these fighters were believed to be very close to getting a shot at the UFC lightweight title, that all changed as they both tasted defeat in their last fights. The climb back to title contention starts now. Both of these men are extremely talented, but the one point I keep coming back to is the fact that Melvin Guillard has struggled with the mental aspect of fighting and his move from Jackson’s gym to the Blackzillian’s after just one loss has me wondering if that will be the case in this fight. I don’t see this one going much different than Guillard’s last fight, I see Miller finding an opening and taking this to the ground and submitting Guillard. Miller via second round submission.
Evan Holober: This main event is nearly impossible for me to pick, because frankly, we never know which Melvin Guillard will show up. He comes in as the destroyer oozing power and speed half the time, then looks like an overconfident head case the rest. So because of that, and with a well-rounded top ten caliber Jim Miller on the other side of the cage, it’s a 50-50 fight. I’m gonna go with the old faithful “Young Assassin” making his way down the aisle Friday Night. I think he has a lot of success early, maybe even dropping Miller along the way, but falls into a submission out of nowhere in the second. Miller via Submission.
Bryan Fontez: The outcome of this match will depend entirely on the frame of mind that Melvin Guillard is currently in. Frequently showcasing moments of absolute domination and sheer brilliance, Guillard quite simply, is his own worst enemy. He’s wreaking of potential and is capable of accomplishing soo much in this sport. But due to his inability to stay focused and remain mentally humble. He has been anything but consistent. Miller is a great fighter, but if Guillard is focused and disciplined, he can become damn well close to unstoppable. And after a stupid loss to Lauzon, due to over confidence, I don’t see him making the same mistake twice in a row. Melvin Guillard via 2nd Round TKO.
Daniel Cassidy: A very tough fight, with both fighters in the top 10, and both potential title contenders. For me however, the outcome seems clear. With a habit of stumbling at the final hurdle, I believe “The Young Assassin” will fall victim to previous mistakes again, against the BJJ whiz Jim Miller. Miller is a tough fighter, with a durable chin, and tough wrestling, and once the fight hits the mat, Guillard will once again show the same mistakes that saw lose in other high profile bouts. In my humble opinion, Jim Miller will get the Submission, most likely in Round 2.
Mike Drahota: This is quite the interesting matchup here. Both Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller are, without a doubt, super-talented and on the cusp of stardom within the Lightweight division. Couple that with the fact that both were on the fast-track towards a title shot until they were derailed by respective losses in recent bouts, and this becomes a fight that could turn into an all-out war. It still remains to be seen if Guillard’s glaring weaknesses in the ground game will cause him to lose to another fighter who may have less natural ability than he does. While he is a flashy striker with legitimate one-punch knockout power, I see him being unable to neutralize Jim Miller’s effective, punishing attack. The winner of this will find themselves back on track, but can either one really hang with the winner of Frankie Edgar – Ben Henderson? This is a close call here, but I like Miller to grind out a tough decision.