UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller – Main Card Preview & Event Coverage
Last Updated on Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:48
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Friday, 4 May 2012 09:43
UFC on FOX 3: Diaz vs. Miller – Main Card Preview & Event Coverage
By PDG Staff
On Saturday, May 5th, the UFC returns to FOX and will looking to add to it’s mainstream sports audience as they bring fans an exciting four-fight main card from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The main event will feature New Jersey native Jim Miller as he continues to fight his way through the UFC lightweight ranks when he faces one of the toughest opponents of his career in Nate Diaz.
Also on the main card, two former collegiate wrestling champions and welterweight contenders will face off as Josh Koscheck will step into the Octagon to test the progression of Johny Hendricks. In middleweight action, Alan Belcher will take on the always unpredictable Rousimar Palhares and rounding out the FOX televised card will be a sure knockout attempt-fest between Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson.
Nate Diaz (15-7) vs. Jim Miller (21-3)
PunchDrunkGamer Match-Up of the Night
Nate Diaz (10-5 UFC) enters Saturday’s bout on a two-fight win streak coming off a unanimous decision victory over Donald Cerrone and a submission win over former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi in his return to lightweight as he looks to secure his title shot with a win over Miller.
Prior to those last two wins Diaz suffered a two-fight skid against Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald, prompting the return to lightweight. Diaz holds ten wins by submission and three by TKO, including stoppages over Melvin Guillard, Kurt Pellegrino, Rory Markham, Junior Assuncao, Joe Hurley, and Alvin Robinson.
Jim Miller (10-2 UFC) was once on the cusp of a UFC title shot after stretching out a seven-fight win streak inside the Octagon. Miller’s dreams were stalled however when he was beaten by former WEC champion Ben Henderson but he was able to rebound with a first-round submission over Melvin Guillard at UFC on FX 1 in January.
Miller began his impressive streak with a decision over The Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig. Miller then secured a win over Steve Lopez after Lopez suffered a shoulder injury in the second round. Miller continued gaining momentum with a first round armbar over Duane “Bang” Ludwig before scoring unanimous decisions over Mark Bocek and Gleison Tibau.
Miller then found a massive boost in his stock when he secured a kneebar over hot prospect Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira in less than two minutes, handing the Brazilian his first career loss. Miller then handed WEC stand-out Kamal Shalorus the first loss of his career by way of third round TKO.
Josh Koscheck (17-5) vs. Johny Hendricks (12-1)
Koscheck (15-5 UFC) joined the first season of The Ultimate Fighter simply as a wrestler with a 2-0 record, but has since pieced together a 15-5 record inside the UFC. Koscheck enters the bout coming off two consecutive wins with a split decision over Mike Pierce and a knockout of the future UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes back at UFC 135 in Denver, Colorado.
Those two wins came on the heels of a loss in a championship rematch against Georges St. Pierre, but Koscheck had previously been on a three-fight win streak against Frank Trigg, Anthony Johnson, and Paul Daley. “Kos”, who recently left American Kickboxing academy where he trained alongside Jon Fitch, Cain Velasquez, and Mike Swick, owns additional notable career victories over Chris Lytle, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Diego Sanchez, Dustin Hazelett, and Jeff Joslin.
Johny Hendricks (7-1 UFC) enters the biggest fight of his career on a three-fight win streak with victories over Jon Fitch, T.J. Waldburger and Mike Pierce. Prior to losing to Rick Story, Hendricks won his first four UFC appearances over Amir Sadollah, Ricardo Funch, T.J. Grant, and Charlie Brenneman.
The former NCAA Wrestling Champion and All-American from Oklahoma State is looking to solidify his standing in the UFC welterweight division on Saturday night and may even be in line for a potential title shot if he can out-strike and out-wrestle Koscheck. Hendricks is coming into this bout following a stunning twelve-second knockout over AKA contender Jon Fitch at UFC 141.
Rousimar Palhares (14-3) vs. Alan Belcher (17-6)
“Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (7-2 UFC) is currently on a three-fight win streak, having stopped Mike Massenzio and David Branch with heel hook submissions and outmatching Dan Miller in a decision. Palhares has earned submission victories in ten of his professional fights, including seven leg locks.
The 1st degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt always comes ready to fight but fans have also become accustomed to Palhares’ some what crazy antics inside of the Octagon that sometimes have overshadowed his fight performance. From refusing to let go of a heel hook submission against Tomasz Drwal after the bell rang, to jumping up onto the top of the cage during his fight against Dan Miller thinking the fight had been stopped and most notably his greasing allegations when he faced Nate Marquardt.
Palhares earned his black belt under former UFC champion Murilo Bustamante and Bebeo Duarte and he also took Silver at the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. He holds notable career wins over Fabio Nascimento, Dan Miller, Jeremy Horn and Mike Massenzio.
Alan Belcher (8-4 UFC) quickly became a fan favorite in the UFC’s middleweight division with his exciting Muay Thai skills and consistently exciting performances. Belcher enters this Saturday’s bout with an 8-4 UFC record and riding a three-fight win streak.
After losing a unanimous decision in his UFC debut to Yushin Okami, Belcher scored a highlight reel knockout over former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago. Belcher suffered a setback when he was submitted by The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove, but was able to rebound with a pair of wins over Sean Salmon and Kalib Starnes. His momentum was cut short however when he was stopped by Jason Day.
Belcher returned from the loss with a split decision over TUF 3 finalist Ed Herman before scoring an impressive guillotine submission victory over PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix finalist Denis Kang. Belcher was then routed in a controversial split decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama, but was able to come back with a first round stoppage against Wilson Gouveia. Most recently Belcher stopped The Ultimate Fighter 4 finalist and former UFC contender Patrick Cote with a second round rear naked choke at UFC 113 and then he submitted Jason MacDonald via strikes at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger.
Pat Barry (7-4) vs. Lavar Johnson (16-5)
Fan favorite Pat Barry (7-4) steps onto the main card in a heavyweight clash with Lavar Johnson in the first fight on the FOX broadcast and it could be the shortest fight. Barry (4-4 UFC) enters Saturday’s bout on a positive note after knocking out Christian Morecraft following a dire two-fight losing streak after suffering a knockout loss in an exciting battle with Cheick Kongo and then losing by triangle choke against Stefan Struve.
Despite a weak ground game, Barry’s kickboxing is outstanding and added with his personality he is a strong mid-card fighter for any UFC card. He holds additional career wins over Joey Beltran and Antoni Hardonk.
Lavar Johnson (1-0 UFC) won his UFC debut in electrifying fashion as he earned Knockout of the Night with his 36 second knockout of Joey Beltran earlier this year. That win saved Johnson, who is the younger brother of “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson, from suffering the first three loss skid of his MMA career. Following a seven-fight win streak including three under the Strikeforce banner, Johnson lost consecutive bouts to Shane del Rosario and Shawn Jordan.
Back in 2009, Johnson and several other people where shot at a 4th of July party and he was hospitalized in critical care. Once released from the hospital Johnson resumed training and made his comeback in March of 2010. He holds additional notable career victories over Lolohea Mahe and Virgil Zwicker.
UFC on FOX 3 Fight Card:
Main Card (FOX):
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller (PunchDrunkGamer Match-Up of the Night)
Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Preliminary Card (FUEL TV):
Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson
John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott
John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Preliminary Card (Facebook):
Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
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