UFC on ESPN 5: Squared Up | Miller vs. Guida Co-Main Event Analysis & Predictions

Jason Paglia

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 8:12 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2019 8:12 PM UTC

Jim Miller or Clay Guida. Who will emerge vicotirous this Saturday in Newark?
<p>The UFC rolls into Newark, New Jersey this Saturday afternoon for a little matinee madness in the Prudential Center for UFC on ESPN 5. In the coming weeks we will see much better fight cards than this weekend, but we can only breakdown the fights they give us. We covered the main event banger yesterday in the first ‘Squared Up’ article, so today let’s take a closer look at the co-main event of the evening. Two UFC journeyman staples for over a decade lock up when New Jersey native Jim Miller, squares up against Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida. I would be thrilled about this fight if it was 2008, but I can’t help but feel sadness for two fighters who should already be retired in 2019. Nevertheless, we are here to find the edge and push the button, so it doesn’t matter that they are old as s**t, pay me. Let’s get it.<br /> </p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>JIM MILLER (30-13) vs CLAY GUIDA (35-18)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Jim Miller</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://usatmmajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/jim-miller-ufc-on-fox-21.jpg?w=1000&amp;h=600&amp;crop=1" style="width:600px;height:360px" /></p><p>Jim Miller grew up wrestling at Sparta High School in Sparta, New Jersey. He was so accomplished in school that he made a D1 program in Virginia Tech as a walk on. After having disagreements with the Virginia Tech coaching staff, he parted way with the program after a year. He immediately started training in Brazilian Ji-Jitsu and in late 2005 turned pro as a mixed martial artist. He would fight on the regional scene for a while, even fighting former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar before they both made the UFC roster. After 13 fights in 3 years he had amassed a 12-1 record, and he finally got the call-up to the big show in October of 2008.</p><p>At UFC 89 Miller fought David Baron and got the submission victory by rear naked choke and a UFC journeyman was born. With 32 fights in the UFC, Jim Miller has gone 20-12. For someone who was never a star, never had an elite bag of tools as a mixed martial artist, and never fought for a UFC championship, Jim Miller never complained about it. All he wanted to do was entertain the fans and support his family. For diehards of the sport, Jim Miller is a hero to a lot of us. I don’t know how many fights he has left until he drops the gloves in the center of the Octagon but if this is it, it’s been an honor to watch you fight sir.</p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=160&amp;a=9feaaf7a-d7a2-4185-974a-81ad171951df&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://imstore.bet365affiliates.com/AffiliateCreativeBanners/Sports/General/Bet%20Builder/en-GB/UK/STD/970x250_2.jpeg" style="width:100%;height:26px" /></a></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― STATS ―</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d41f8f54cb3d01d72a58240/original-stats-ufc" style="width:835px;height:167px" /></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― PROS ―</strong></p><ul> <li>Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (You wouldn’t think a white guy with an unathletic body frame from New Jersey could be an absolute killer on the mat, but he was in his prime. 16 SUBMISSION WINS, the end.)</li> <li>Fight IQ (Both him and his competitor have seen and done it all, especially when you have logged in this many fights. Nothing will surprise either of them. You still need more than just physical attributes to get by Jimmy.)</li> <li>Toughness/Heart (It will matter in this fight, and Miller has it in spades.)</li></ul><p style="text-align:center"> </p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― CONS ―</strong></p><ul> <li>Defensive Striking (Miller has always been easy to hit in the pocket, especially when he is moving forward or backwards.)</li> <li>Use of Range (This is similar to striking defense but slightly different. Jim Miller has always had an issue getting inside his opponent’s range striking. A lot of the losses have been because of this in particular.)</li> <li>Age/Damage/Chin (43 MMA fights are excessive man. We know these guys are modern day gladiators but damn man. Theoretically if either of these guys clip the jaw clean, they should drop, no matter how good it was for 10 years.)</li> <li>Stamina (Again age becomes a factor in this fight and Jim has been know to gas out in fights before.)</li></ul><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Clay Guida</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://usatmmajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/clay-guida-ufc-fight-night-112.jpg?w=1000&amp;h=576&amp;crop=1" style="width:600px;height:346px" /></p><p>Much like his opponent, Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida grew up as a wrestler. He wrestled in high school, and later won a National Championship for Harper College. Guida made his professional MMA debut in 2003 for Xtreme Cage Combat. He would go 3-3 for the promotion before he won 15 consecutive fights, finally losing at a King of the Cage event in December, 2005.</p><p>In March, 2006 Guida fought Josh Thompson for the Strikeforce lightweight championship. He would go on to win the belt by unanimous decision, but unfortunately for Guida he would lose the belt to Gilbert Melendez on his first title defense. With a record of 20-5 he was signed by Zuffa and made his WEC debut at WEC 23 against Joe Martin. He won that fight and the UFC signed Guida to make his debut at UFC 64 and the rest is history. Clay Guida is another journeyman legend in this sport. He is not given enough credit for the amount of enjoyment he has given real fight fans, much like Jim Miller.</p><p>Clay Guida has a record of 14-12 in the UFC but ask any diehard out there how many fighters they respect more than Clay Guida and Jim Miller. I wish this fight wasn’t happening but I know these two warriors will make it impossible not to enjoy it.)</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― STATS ―</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d41fa114cb3d01d72a58241/original-stats-ufc-fighting" style="width:817px;height:195px" /></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― PROS ―</strong></p><ul> <li>Wrestling (Like his opponent, he also grew up on the mat. He has very good top control if he can get you down to the mat. His ground and pound is good not great, but he controls his opponents anytime he is on top of his opponents.)</li> <li>Stamina (Clay is another one of these fighters that had a legendary gas tank in his prime. Due to his age, he has slowed down a bit but, it is still better than the average 37 year old in the UFC.)</li> <li>Grinder (Clay’s entire career he has always been a grinder. He makes his fights gritty. He dirty boxes in the pocket and gives everything he has. If his game plan is to take opponents down, he will chain takedown attempts together until he gets the job done. It’s hard to put into words but the guy is just a gamer. He doesn’t stop grinding.)</li></ul><p style="text-align:center"> </p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>― CONS ―</strong></p><ul> <li>Defensive Range (There have been times where he hasn’t been able to get inside the range of his opponents. People have picked him apart from the outside before, although because of Jim Miller’s style, that shouldn’t be a problem this fight. Keep that in mind for his future fights.)</li> <li>Age (Clay started to look his age last time out. I was very disappointed with his performance against BJ Penn. On (The Sports Keg: FightCast) I actually backed him to win that fight inside the distance and he just couldn’t get the job done. He was slightly gassed in the 3rd round of the fight, and we have to ask ourselves, at what point does father time finally slap him in the face.)</li></ul><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--QzrUoU1e--/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/17wwvcry020hhjpg.jpg" style="width:600px;height:338px" /></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></p><p>I can’t judge these two fighters on their career’s as a whole. We have to judge them on how they have looked the last couple years, and to me the edge has to go Jim Miller here. I think Jim’s standup game is stronger right now, and if we are being honest, he probably has the edge rolling around on the mat as well.</p><p>From a betting perspective, you always have to ask yourself, what is the most likely outcome, and is the price right based on your implied probability. To me, I favor Jim Miller to get the job done here, but is it possible that Clay Guida can get the nod? Yes, it is possible. What is the most likely outcome here? Well….. I think the fight going the distance at (-155) is the safest spot on the board. If you don’t want to lay that number, you can always combine the two angles and take Jim Miller by decision at (+202).</p><p>Let’s get back on track this week. Good Luck Saturday.</p><p><br /><strong>Pick: Fight goes the Distance at 20/31 (1.65) 1u</strong></p>
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