Jim Miller vs Melvin Guillard
With both former title contenders coming off one sided losses it only made sense to match Jim Miller up with Melvin Guillard if for nothing else than the entertainment factor. Jim Miller went on a ten fight tear before being dominated by Benson Henderson, but to be fair had it been anyone else Miller probably would have snagged one of those submissions. Guillard on the other hand came out too full of himself and literally walked into a punch from Joe Lauzon that sent him reeling to the ground where he was quickly choked out. It seems like every so often after stringing together some solid wins Guillard starts believing his own hype and is sumarily crushed by opponents he had no business losing to in the first place.
Honestly this is a tough fight for any version of Guillard. Miller is tough as nails, has striking on par with Melvins if not better, and the submission game to make anyone think twice about going to the ground with him. Striking I would give a slight advantage in technique to Miller, while striking power is a wash. Overall grappling is an edge for Miller, but Guillard has slightly better wrestling, though he seldom uses it. I see this fight playing out with Guillard trying to put pressure on Jim until he finds out that Jim isn't going to just let him do whatever he wants. From there things will get ugly with plenty of clinching, but I don't see anyone looking to take it to the ground early on. In the end I think Miller catches Melvin with something before jumping on him and locking up the sub for the win.
Prediction: Jim Miller by SubmissionPat Barry vs Christian Morecraft
I guess this is going to be the plight of Pat Barry from now on. Being the measuring stick for whether or not you "belong" in the UFC's heavyweight division. Which is fine given his refusal to dedicate any time to learning how to grapple effectively. This fight breaks down like pretty much any fight Barry is in. Striking technique is clearly in Barry's favor while power is a virtual wash since this is the heavyweight division. Grappling is a clear disadvantage for Pat as is height. Unfortunately for Morecraft I see him losing here and getting cut. I've been unimpressed with him throughout his stint in the UFC. There just isn't anything he does "well". No one area he is especially proficient in and the rest of his game is fairly average at best. This fight will probably look like Barry's fight with Beltran except Morecraft isn't going to zombie his way to the final bell.
Prediction: Pat Barry by (T)KODuane Ludwig vs Josh Neer
Having just been recognized as having the fastest KO in UFC history Duane Ludwig gets to fight for the first time as the record holder against Josh Neer. Ludwig is fresh off his three round dismantling of Amir Sadollah while Josh Neer is looking to continue his latest run in the promotion after stopping Keith Wisniewski his last time out. As far as the fights go I give an edge to Ludwig in striking both in power and technique while Neer has the better all around grappling and submissions. This fight should prove challenging for Neer because I don't see him outstriking Ludwig and I don't think he's going to have an easy time getting things to the ground either. This could be a fight of the night candidate or it could be a one sided beating. Either way it goes I think Ludwig will bring it just a little bit more than Neer and win himself a well earned decision.
Prediction: Duane Ludwig by Decision