by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
A patient Gray Maynard slowly, but surely, took the steam out of Jim Miller’s sails, dismantling the New Jersey lightweight over three rounds.
Content to box it out, Maynard stayed on his feet and landed straight right after straight right on the southpaw Miller. A first round punch smashed Miller’s nose, creating a stream of crimson down his face and chest.
Miller tried his best to take the action down, fighting for a single leg attempt. But his shot was stuffed at every turn, and he ate short punches on the way out.
The former International Fight League standout delivered with a hard roundhouses to Maynard’s body, but the Xtreme Couture fighter’s footwork kept him from scoring with his hands.
By the third, Miller was cursing himself as he worked to build momentum. He nearly caught a Hail Mary when Maynard took him down, rolling for a kneebar. But Maynard stood out of it and continued to punish on the feet.
By then, another right hand had forced the closing of Miller’s left eye.
The action came in fits in starts, but it was a decisive performance for Maynard, who shrugged off demons of a less-than-exciting ground battle with Rich Clementi.
All three judges gave Maynard every round, 30-27.
“That was the game plan,” Maynard said after the fight, inviting boxing coach Gil Martinez to talk about his victory.
“We worked on that a lot,” Martinez followed. “We worked on that lead right hand a lot…we knew he liked to get wild, so we just worked on keeping his hands up.”