Miller's ground game came in handy against Melvin Guillard. |
Photo: Dave Mandel
Miller might have walked out of UFC
on FX 1 with a victory, but it did not come easily.
The New Jersey native found himself in trouble early in his
headlining lightweight affair against Melvin
Guillard, as “The Young Assassin” floored the
AMA Fight Club talent with a hard left hand and looked for a
potential finish as Miller tried to regain his senses.
“Melvin, tonight he hit me harder than anybody has hit me,” Miller
told Fox Sports after the bout. “My head hurts a little bit. It
doesn’t happen often that I get knocked down, but Melvin is an
animal. I knew he was capable of that. Luckily, I went on
autopilot. I don’t really remember what happened after he knocked
me down until I basically had his back.”
In addition to his sharp punches, Guillard threatened early and
often with a flying knee, missing the strike narrowly several times
in the course of the bout’s opening minutes. Guillard’s last
attempt at the move would be his last, however, as Miller caught
the technique and planted Guillard on the canvas.
“I was thinking, I’ve got to stop him from doing this, because one
of these times he’s going to hit me on the chin with that knee,”
said Miller. “I had to do something to make him pay, but I just
didn’t get the opportunity to get anything in there [before the
As Guillard attempted to escape bottom position and regain his
vertical base, Miller showed off his tight jiu-jitsu, taking the
hunched Guillard’s back and riding the
Imperial Athletics representative back to the canvas. From
there, it was academic, as Miller found the required leverage to
finish his foe with a rear-naked choke.
“I don’t know if it’s my favorite position, but [taking the back]
is just something I do naturally,” said Miller. “It’s like Velcro.
I stick to guys’ backs, and I get the finish from there a lot.”
With the win, Miller successfully rebounded from his August defeat
to current No. 1 contender Ben
Henderson, Miller’s first loss since falling to Gray
Maynard in 2009. While the 28-year-old declined to call anyone
out in his post-fight interview, Miller did indicate that he still
has his eye on the belt currently sitting around the waist of
“Hopefully I’ll get another tough fight and get back on that road
to a title shot,” said Miller. “That’s what I want.”