UFC on FOX 17 Play: Cole Miller (+105) vs Jim Alers (-125)

Jim AlersUFC on FOX 17 Date: December 19, 2015 Arena: Amway Center City: Orlando, FL Featherweight bout: Cole Miller (+105) vs Jim Alers (-125) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off for the FOX Sports 1 Prelims for UFC on FOX 17 will be a featherweight contest between TUF 5 veteran Cole “Magrinho” Miller and former Cage Warriors 145-pound champ Jim “The Beast” Alers. Miller is a slight +105 ($100 to win $105) underdog heading into the match-up, with Alers being favored to win at -125 ($125 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Cole “Magrinho” Miller (21-9 MMA, 10-7 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 60 just over 10 months ago, where he had his two-fight winning streak snapped by Max Holloway. After a break from the cage, he is ready to return to battle and get back into the UFC’s win column at 145-pounds. Miller a tough fighter with above average conditioning who trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL, and has been one of the proudest representatives of the camp. He is pretty durable, has a decent chin and should have enough gas in his tank for three full rounds of action, should this featherweight affair see it’s way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. The 31-year old’s striking skills are not great, though he continues to make improvements in the department, as is evident from fight to fight. He moves well on his feet, has developed good footwork and works a solid jab, as well as effective low and high kicks. He works some nice body shots, too, and has shown good defense on the feet as of late. “Magrinho” is very talented on the mat and presents a submission threat every time the fight goes there; the fact that 15 of his 21 professional mixed martial arts career victories come by way of submission certainly reflect that sentiment. Jim “The Beast” Alers (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) saw his impressive nine fight winning streak snapped by Chas Skelly at UFC Fight Night 60 nearly 10 months ago; the same card the aforementioned Cole Miller vs Max Holloway bout took place on. Alers won the first round against Skelly, then got hurt in the tail end of the second and ended up losing a controversial TKO, with one one second remaining in the round. The controversy came because Skelly landed an illegal knee that forced the referee’s stoppage with just one second left. “The Beast” is a talented submission grappler who likes to use his knees in the clinch, preferring to go to the head with them. He works solid single and double-leg takedowns and is effective in top position on the mat, both with his submissions and his offensive ground and pound attack. Alers is certainly a finisher, having finished 11 of his 13 opponents; nine via submission and a pair by T/KO. When he sees an opportunity for the finish, he is one to capitalize and pull the trigger, not being afraid to hold back. The former Cage Warriors featherweight champion has great submission defense and pretty good takedown defense, too, but when taken down, he does not do a good job of working his way back to his feet and seems too content to fight off his back. Alers’ striking improves from fight to fight and I think he will have an advantage over Miller in the department, despite being at a height and reach disadvantage. He has good leg kicks, puts together some solid 1-2 combinations, has a nice lead uppercut and a decent overhand right. His precision and accuracy is not quite on point, but he does possess power in his hands. The Florida native has questionable cardio and a questionable chin, though I don’t see Miller knocking him out and I expect he will have enough in the tank to go hard for a full 15-minutes of action, if necessary. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think Alers is a legit UFC-caliber featherweight and between him and Miller, I think he has the brighter future in the sport. I see him getting the better of Miller on the feet and on the mat here in this match-up, as well as beating him against the cage. I see him getting the best of the 31-year old Octagon veteran for three rounds of action for a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards, though I think there is a decent chance he earns a T/KO stoppage. Gabe’s Call: Jim Alers by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Alers (-125) 3.75u to win 3u

Written by Gabe Killian

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