Heading into the final two fights of the UFC 155′s PPV broadcast last night, management must have been feeling a sense of dread. The three Middleweight fights on the main card had basically stunk up the joint, and there were just two fights left. Thankfully, there was Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon to the rescue! The bloody war the two lightweights waged was a show saver, and the Heavyweights would close the show with a bang. Show saved!
Miller moves his record to 22-4 with a solid performance that the judges all scored 29-28 in his favor. Miller fought a tough battle against one of the most game performances you will ever see. This could easily win ‘Match of the Year’ awards.
Miller is in a tough spot right now. Yes he is coming off a tough performance and win, but he is 2-2 in his last 4 fights and has lost to Nate Diaz and champion Benson Henderson. He really needs another high quality win to even be considered in the title picture.
Lauzon, as much of a crowd pleaser as he is, has a job with the UFC for the forseeable future, but is 4-4 in his last 8 matches and is basically out of the title picture. So what to do with these two?
Ok first, the UFC has some incoming talent in the Lightweight division in Strikeforce Champion Gilbert Melendez. This would be a great fight with Lauzon, as his high octane style makes for a nice stylistic match up with Melendez. Melendez is off the last SF card and the next time we will see him is in the octagon. Despite Gilbert’s pedigree, it would be a good move to not put him in a title shot immediately since the UFC is the dominant brand, and Lauzon would be a great test. It would in fact boost Melendez, as he has a Jake Shields-like streak of boring built in at times.
And what to do with Miller? The UFC must first sign Eddie Alvarez, and Miller should meet him at the octagon door.
Miller is from Jersey and Alvarez and his torrid following are from Philly. This has east coast return to Philly or AC (or dare we say NYC? I got a feeling the NY boys wont like Dana) written all over it. It shows respect to Miller as it gives him a quality opponent to add to his resume, and it is a good initiation for Alvarez on his way into the UFC. As good as Alvarez is, and he is a winner at his core, he should be given a tough road a la Hector Lombard entering the UFC, and Miller is a great test.
So to Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon, thank you gentlemen, for a bout to be remembered this past weekend. Let’s see if the UFC can make the matches suggested happen, your both main eventers.