UFC 168 Prediction: Fabricio Camoes vs. Jim Miller
December 24, 2013
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After going 2-3 in his last five fights, Jim Miller’s stock has fallen rapidly… to the point that he is now set to face Fabricio Camoes. It wasn’t long ago that Miller battled against opponents like Benson Henderson and now he’s taking on an opponent who is only barely plausible as a UFC lightweight. The good news for Miller is that he really should have what it takes to win this one.
At one point Miller had an excellent record with losses only to the very best in the world. However Miller has glaring holes in his game that tough fighters have been able to exploit. None of those holes is more glaring than Miller’s takedown defense – at just 39 percent, Miller is easily in Carlos Condit/Mauricio Rua territory. But unlike Condit and Rua, Miller hasn’t shown a particularly active guard either. The result was that Miller was completely smothered by Pat Healy in his last fight – and beaten up until finally being stopped in the third round.
While Miller at least tries to defend takedowns, Camoes doesn’t care. He’s the kind of fighter who is happy to play the guard game if he gets taken down, because submissions are his only real offense. At 1.24 significant strikes per minute, Camoes is one of the UFC’s least active strikers. For him, strikes are a means to help him potentially secure a submission hold, and not much more.
If Miller can pull off a sprawl-and-brawl game plan (plausible given Camoes’s limited takedown abilities) then he should be able to cruise to victory on the judges’ scorecards. However I believe it’s more likely that this fight will go to the ground one way or another. Since Miller is the better offensive wrestler I anticipate he’ll succeed in earning top position, but it’s not out of the question for Camoes to take Miller down as well.
Still, even if Camoes takes the initiative and puts Miller on his back, it will be very challenging for him to earn a submission victory. Miller has only been submitted by Nate Diaz, and that was after Miller was left dazed and confused by a barrage of Diaz strikes. Camoes also doesn’t strike me as the type of fighter who is likely to win by maintaining top control and grinding out a victory.
More than anything, I believe Miller deserves his status as a large favorite because there aren’t many paths to victory for Camoes. Miller is the better mixed martial artist and a fighter who has competed against much tougher competition than Camoes – so when I put each man’s data in context, I have to assume Miller’s game will be more effective against a relatively limited opponent.
Pick: Jim Miller by decision