In the main event of UFC on Fox 3, Jim Miller and Nate Diaz competed in lightweight showdown that had serious title implications. Miller was on one of the best streaks in the Ultimate Fighting Championship before the current champion, Benson Henderson, knocked him off. He has rebounded since the loss, putting him in a position where a win against Diaz could give Miller the elusive title shot he had been craving.
Diaz is on a two-fight winning streak, forcing Takanori Gomi to tap to an Armbar and earning a unanimous decision victory against Donald Cerrone. A win for Diaz should get him the next shot at the lightweight title at the winner of Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar 2.
As soon as the fight began, Miller charged forward to negate the reach advantage of Diaz. Miller held Diaz against the cage for more than a minute and both men exchanged knees during that time. They separated, but found themselves in the same position, with Diaz getting the edge the second time around. After they separated again, Diaz used his reach to land a beautiful straight left, dropping Miller to the mat. They scrambled to their feet before Miller landed a takedown, but Diaz got the sweep and finished the round in the top position.
My scorecard: 10-9 Diaz
Diaz opened the round by landing strike after strike. As soon as he got comfortable, he began doing what the Diaz brothers are known for (aside from being successful), showing up their opponent. That quickly got in the head of Miller and he began to do things he normally wouldn't do. He got lazy and Diaz caught him and earned the tap out victory.
Official decision: Nate Diaz wins via Guillotine Choke at 4:09 of the second round.
Diaz may be one of the most-improved fighters in the UFC during the past three years. He is 100-times better than he was when he won The Ultimate Fighter and deserves to be the next challenger for the lightweight title after Edgar gets his rematch.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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