Jim Miller eeked out a split decision victory over Joe Lauzon in their rematch tonight at UFC On FOX 21, in a closely contested fight to open up the main card.
Lauzon with a push kick to start. He presses forward and unleashes a short combo. Miller lands a nice left hand.
Lauzon drops down looking for a leg lock, but Miller scrambles and gets back upright.
Back in striking range Lauzon puts on some pressure, but Miller meets him with strikes. Lauzon gets in close, but Miller lands knees to the body to back him up.
Miller steps in to a two-piece combo. Lauzon leaps into a knee strike to the belly. Relentless forward pressure from Lauzon and he presses Miller up against the cage and lands an elbow.
Miller with a good knee to get a little breathing room. He tries a spinning attack, but misses and slips to the mat, which lets Lauzon get on top.
Lauzon in Miller’s half guard with two minutes to go. A knee and a few body shots from Lauzon on top. Miller back to full guard. Suddenly he bursts back up to his feet.
Miller lands a few shots as Lauzon comes in. Again he puts together a nice combo to the head and body. More good work from Miller and suddenly Lauzon looks like he’s running out of ideas.
Miller tries for a takedown, but isn’t able to land it. Lauzon comes forward, but without any real offense now, and Miller greets him with a solid combination that leaves him covering up as the round comes to a close.
Miller stampedes forward with a series of punches. Lauzon returns fire. Nice jab for Lauzon. He comes in again and lets the straight right fly that time behind the jab.
Nice knee to the body from Miller. He lands a few hooks as Lauzon comes forward. Lauzon finds Miller’s chin with a punch.
Combination of punches from Lauzon backs Miller up. Miller bites down on his gumshield and lands to the head and then several punches to the body.
Right hand for Lauzon, left hook for Miller. Miller steps forward and eats a left hook. Body shot for Miller.
Straight right gets through for Lauzon. Miller tries a kick, but Lauzon takes him down off of it and just misses out on getting mount, settling instead for half guard.
Miller working from rubber guard now in the final minute of the round. He decides to abandon that strategy and Lauzon tries to get some ground and pound going. He’s just happy to be able to end the round on top.
Left hand for Miller. Now he sonncets with a jab. Lauzon comes forward and gets caught with a leg kick, then a good uppercut.
Miller continues to sling heavy leather, landing a barrage of punches as Lauzon covers up. Eventually Miller backs up and lauzon seems to be ok.
Lauzon back to being the one pressuring, but Miller is still working well on the counter – he’s been getting the better of a lot of these exchanges throughout the fight.
However, Lauzon’s takedowns have been another big factor in this fight, and he’s just landed another one at a crucial moment in the fight.
Lauzon in half guard and eventually works to trap Miller’s right arm. Miller moves to turtle position and then stands, managing to clinch Lauzon’s back and almost gets him to the mat. Lauzon is able to break free though and they go back to striking range.
Lauzon marches forward with punches and then pushes Miller up against the cage. Miller tries a hip toss, but it fails and he falls to the mat momentarily.
Lauzon stays on him and Miller tries to roll on the mat to shake him off, but that doesn’t work out and Lauzon is back on top. Final 10 seconds and Lauzon neatly moves into full mount and immediately looks for an armbar finish. Miller does his best to fight it off and just makes it to the final bell. We’re headed to the judges!
Close fight then, and that’s reflected in the scorecards with a split decision victory being handed to Jim Miller (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Miller did get the better of the striking exchanges, but Lauzon had considerable spells of control on the mat, so that really could have gone either way.