Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon’s fight at UFC 155 in 2012 was an instant classic. Their rematch at UFC on FOX 21 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Saturday wasn’t far behind, but the result was the same, a victory for Miller.
Neither Miller nor Lauzon were in the lightweight rankings. Neither moved into the thick of title talk after their fight. But they had the honor of opening the main card on FOX because when they enter the Octagon, they come to fight, always leaving wanting to see them keep fighting, regardless of the outcome.
Lauzon immediately took control of the center of the Octagon, trying to put pressure on Miller. He was successful pressing forward, but Miller’s striking was on point. He ruled the fight at distance, using crisp combinations and mixing things up going from body to head to body, frequently getting the better of the stand-up exchanges.
RELATED > UFC on FOX 21: Maia vs. Condit Full Live Results and Fight Stats
Miller made a critical mistake early on, however, trying a spinning technique, which ended with Lauzon taking him to the canvas. Lauzon landed a few hard shots while they were down, but Miller minimized the damage before they returned to their feet, where he landed a strong uppercut and again edged ahead in the exchanges.
Round two went much better for Lauzon. His defense improved in the stand-up exchanges, as he kept the striking closer, before again getting Miller to the canvas, where he kept him for the final minute-and-a-half of the round, dropping short elbows from half guard.
The final round was another close one, but a Miller uppercut rocked Lauzon early in the frame. He followed with several more punches and knees, driving Lauzon into the fence. As he somehow does, however, Lauzon found reserves and fired back, fighting his was out of danger.
Lauzon scored another takedown with about three minutes left in the fight, but couldn’t do much damage before Miller returned to his feet.
Lauzon pressed hard for the final minute, pressing Miller to the fence. Miller missed with a trip attempt, and then tried to roll out of Lauzon’s grasp, but Lauzon remained in control as they hit the mat. He went for an armbar in the final 10 seconds, but time ran out before he could secure it.
After another tremendous 15-minute back-and-forth battle, the judges scored the fight a split decision in Miller’s favor.
Although fans might want to see it again, it sounds like that might be the last time we see Miller and Lauzon go after each other.
“He told me no more after that one,” Miller said after the fight. “That was a razor-thin fight. I was able to land some good shots on my feet and really kind of prevent him from doing too much damage on the ground. I squeaked it out.”