UFC 168 Preview: Jim Miller vs. Fabricio Camoes

Jim Miller (22-4 (1), 11-3 (1) UFC) vs. Fabricio Camoes (14-7-1, 1-2-1 UFC)

A lightweight bout featuring two lightweight fighters looking to get back into the win column gets a main card slot on UFC 168 as Jim Miller fights for the 16th time inside the UFC Octagon when he squares off against Fabricio Camoes. Miller is looking to rebound from a loss that was turned to a no contest when he fought Pat Healy at UFC 159. It was changed due to Healy failing a post-fight drug test. Miller is just 2-2 with the no contest in his last five fights. Camoes returns to action after being out since a July 2012 loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 148. Camoes is 3-2 over his last five fights.

Fight Breakdown- This fight being on the main card over some of the featured preliminary fights could be questioned but it is further proof of how valuable it is to have Jim Miller on a fight card as he generally delivers high-quality fights. His last win came nearly a year to the day of UFC 168 as he scored a decision win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 last December. Not much can be said for that fight past it being one of the most entertaining and bloody fights of not only 2012, but in the history of the UFC. Miller has had a rough last two years as he now finds himself out of the contender ranks that he found himself in, though with his track record and the fact he remains in the top ten of the UFC’s rankings and his only official losses are to fellow top ten fighters, all it would take for Miller is to string together a few wins in a row to get himself back into the title talk. Miller won nine of his first ten fights inside the Octagon, including a seven-fight win streak, to get himself into title contention. He has beaten the likes of Lauzon, Melvin Guillard, Matt Wiman, Mac Danzig and Glesion Tibau during his UFC career. The only four official losses of Miller’s career have come to Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz- all of whom are former UFC champions or former UFC title challengers. Miller is a high-level fighter.

Camoes has had an up-and-down fight career, and perhaps the most memorable moment of his career was a 25-minute battle he had with Anderson Silva in 1997 when Camoes was just 18-years-old. Silva may have won that fight, but it showed Camoes had some heart when it comes to fighting. He struggled to a 4-5 record in his first nine fights, but a seven-fight win streak brought Camoes a contract to fight in the UFC. He made his UFC debut at UFC 106 in November 2009, but his fight with Caol Uno ended in a draw. Camoes would have won the fight had he not been deducted a point during it, but it wasn’t an ideal start for Camoes in the UFC. Following that draw, Camoes was submitted by Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 111 in March 2010, and it led to his release from the UFC after just two fights. He scored back-to-back wins over UFC veterans Steve Lopez and Efrain Escudero following his release, and when an opportunity to step in as a late replacement came, Camoes jumped at the chance to return to the UFC. Camoes scored his lone UFC win when he submitted Tommy Hayden at UFC On FX 1 in January 2012 in his UFC return, but it was back to the loss column in his most recent bout, a decision loss to Melvin Guillard at UFC 148 in July 2012. After nearly 18 months out of action, Camoes will need to shake off any ring rust when he fights a tough competitor in Miller.

On paper this looks to be a showcase fight for Miller and one to put him back into the win column. Camoes is a tough fighter and gave Guillard quite a battle, but Miller has fought and defeated much higher-caliber fighters in his UFC career. Miller is a well-rounded fighter with solid striking, good wrestling and an excellent submission game. His loss to Healy was a tough one as he was out-matched against Healy’s physical strength, but he won’t have that same issue with Camoes. Camoes isn’t going to scare Miller on the feet and Miller will likely light him up in the striking department, so it is up to Camoes to take the fight to the mat. Both men have black belts in jiu-jitsu, and Miller is excellent when he gets to work from the top. Camoes needs to plant Miller on his back, but Miller is active on the ground and good at creating scrambles. Miller also likes to work in the clinch and he is very strong there, and his submission game is outstanding and he will give anyone fits on the ground. Camoes will put up a tough fight but this one should be Miller’s fight to lose. He has a relentless pace and very good offensive output. He may not be able to finish Camoes as Camoes has toughness, but it should be a win for Miller either way.

Why It Matters- This is a chance for Miller to build himself back up in a tough lightweight division and get himself prepared to fight some much stiffer competition. That is not to downplay the skills of Camoes, but Miller is a top-ten fighter and Camoes may never be. Miller is one of the most exciting fighters to watch at 155 pounds, and a win would get him back on track and into higher-profile fights once again. A loss, though, would likely put him out of contender status for a long time. Camoes is likely in a must-win fight in his fifth UFC fight. If he loses, it will be three losses in five UFC bouts with just one win. He will likely be cut if he loses, so this is a must-win fight for him.

Prediction- Miller

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