TORONTO - Jim Miller submitted Melvin Guillard with a slick rear-naked choke in the main event of UFC on FX 1 in Nashville on Friday.
Guillard looked sharp and composed, brutalizing Miller with stiff knees and punches. But after attempting a third flying knee in only minutes, Guillard found himself flat on his back.
Guillard managed to get to his feet, but Miller jumped on his back and secured a body triangle. From there, he slipped in a rear-naked choke for the impressive victory.
“I don't get knocked down often and he knocked me down,” Miller said. “I think there a lot of guys in this weight class, and the one above it, who don't want to fight that kid.
“I just found a way to the back. It's something I've always been able to do and then secured the position. I've always said I'm the most dangerous lightweight in the world.”
Following bout Miller thanked the MMA community for raising funds for a kidney transplant for his nephew, Danny.
Josh Neer choked Duane Ludwig unconscious in the co-main event.
Ludwig utilized his sharp counter-striking to batter Neer early on, landing crisp punches to the face and knees to the gut.
But Neer managed to switch gears and take control after tripping Lugwig to the mat. During a quick scramble, Ludwig attempted to explode to his feet, but left his head exposed for a deep guillotine choke by Neer.
“It was a good win,” Neer said. “I wanted to stand up and trade more. He was getting the better of me. So I needed to take it to the ground and finish him.
“That's one of my biggest strengths: I don't like to lose and I will put myself through whatever I have to to win.”
Mike Easton won a entertaining slugfest over UFC newcomer Jared Papazian.
The bout was fireworks from start to finish with both men staying in the pocket, throwing heavy leather. But Easton asserted himself as the aggressor, swaying the judges for a majority decision victory.
“He's a tough dude,” Easton said. “I knew he was going to be tough. I knew he was going to show up.
“We're the 135ers, baby! It's nonstop action. That's what we love to do.
“I've still got things I need to work on. Things I need to improve on and that's what I'm going to do.”
With the win, Easton is now riding a seven-fight win streak.
Pat Barry weathered the early storm to hold on and knock Christian Morecraft out cold.
The 5-foo-11 heavyweight found himself in some tough spots, with the 6-foot-.6 Morecraft on top and hunting for submissions.
But after getting back to his feet, Barry dropped Morecraft with a nasty left hook and unleashed a series of punches on the ground that bounced Morecraft's head off the mat like a basketball.
“I'm sorry, but that took me nine getting-choked-out experiences to get that (KO),” an excited Barry said. “Thanks to anybody who helped me to not get choked out all the time.
“After fighting Cheick Kongo, Stefan Struve and Christian Morecraft – I'm used to fighting big guy.”
After suffering back-to-back losses in exciting fights with Kongo and Struve, this bout marks Barry's return to the win column.
Jorge Rivera ended his career with a bang – but it wasn't easy.
Rivera lost a tough first round, where he spent most of his time flat on his back while Eric Schafer chipped away with strikes and looked for submission attempts.
But Rivera turned the tables in the second, putting Schafer away with strikes on the mat.
“He's a strong guy and I saw in the back that he had a bad (weight) cut,” Rivera said. “I knew I could tire him out.”
Prior to the bout, Rivera announced he was retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts.
“I want to thank Zuffa, Dana White, the Fertitta brothers and Burt Watson, whose voice I will miss a lot.
“I'm grateful I got to fight in front of a lot of great people. Thank you.”
An 11-year veteran, Rivera ends his career with a 20-9 record and holds victories over Nate Quarry, Kendall Grove and David Loiseau.
Ottawa bantamweight Nick Denis made a huge statement in his UFC debut, knocking out Joseph Sandoval in only 22 seconds.
Denis, who trains at Montreal's TriStar gym, immediately took the fight to Sandoval. After landing a series of hard straights, Denis grabbed a Thai clinch and unloaded with a vicious series of elbows for the brutal finish.
“I wanted to come out strong with my strikes,” Denis said. “Actually the game plan was to take it to the ground. I felt his strength was his striking and his weakness was his grappling, but after landing a few shots, I knew he was hurt.
“So I threw another and down he went.”