UFC Fight Night 80 Play: Jim Miller (+105) vs Michael Chiesa (-125)

The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale: Chiesa v IaquintaUFC Fight Night 80 Date: December 10, 2015 Arena: The Chelsea City: Las Vegas, NV Lightweight bout: Jim Miller (+105) vs Michael Chiesa (-125) Fight Breakdown: The official co-main event for UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas will be a lightweight battle between veteran Jim Miller and surging prospect Michael Chiesa, with Miller being a very slight underdog at +105 ($100 to win $105) and Chiesa being slightly favored to win at -125 ($125 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Michael Chiesa (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 63 over eight months ago, where he defeated Canadian born MMA Lab product Mitch Clarke via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Making his return to the Octagon following the long layoff, he aims to make it two straight wins for himself by taking out veteran Jim Miller and simultaneously earning the biggest victory of his professional mixed martial arts career. The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 winner is a fighter who has a ton of heart and is constantly improving; his striking is worlds better than it was when he was competing on the reality television series, and his wrestling has improved, as well. Generally, Chiesa used to be at a disadvantage on the feet, but now he has become a threat there, too, as was evident in his match-up against Strikeforce veteran Jorge Masvidal; though he ended up losing the fight via submission, he hurt Masvidal on the feet in the first round of action, nearly finishing him. That speaks volumes, as I believe Masvidal to be one of the best strikers in the UFC’s at either lightweight or welterweight. “Maverick” is a durable fighter, but he cuts a lot of weight to make the lightweight limit, which results in him sometimes slowing down in the third round of his fights, as was evident in his latest outing against Clarke. He completely dominated the Canadian for the first two rounds and then lost the third and final round. He is a fighter who has no quit in him and will undoubtedly be ready for three rounds of action in Virgina, if necessary. Jim Miller (27-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is coming off a controversial split decision win over WEC/UFC veteran and Team Alpha Male fighter Danny Castillo at UFC on FOX 16 nearly five months ago. The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for the New Jersey native, which included a second round knockout against current number one contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and a unanimous decision against Beneil Dariush. Heading into the Octagon on Thursday night, Miller will be aiming to string together two in a row with a win over The Ultimate Fighter 15 winner, Chiesa. The New Jersey native has solid wrestling and exceptional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, owning a black belt in the sport and having submitted numerous high level black belts, such as Charles Oliveira and Fabricio Camoes, both victories which came inside the UFC’s Octagon. He is very dangerous on the mat, both offensively and defensively, so opponents are always in danger when in his guard, as was the case in the Camoes bout. Miller is a southpaw who has rudimentary striking, even though he does possess a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He works an okay jab, has a decent right hook and a nice straight left. He works nice inside leg kicks and likes to go low with them. The 32-year old puts together some decent 1-2 combinations, and likes to pressure his opponents against the cage, a position where he loves to employ his heavy elbows. Training out of AMA Fight Club in Whippany, NJ under the tutelage of Mike Constantino, Miller is generally well-conditioned, so I think he will have enough gas in the tank for a full three rounds of action, should this lightweight contest see it’s way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabe’s Thoughts: In short, I see this as being a gritty war that likely goes the three round distance, and I favor Chiesa to do enough to get his hand raised. I’m just not sure whether he will slightly edge the win or earn it convincingly. Gabe’s Call: Chiesa by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Parlays: 1) Chiesa (-125) parlayed with Sterling (-700) at +105 1.9u to win 2u and 2) Chiesa/Miller Over 2.5 rounds (-185) parlayed with Sterling/Eduardo Under 2.5 rounds (-105) at +200 for 1u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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