There was a time when veteran Miller was one of the trickier fighters in the Lightweight division. He's an underdog against the 26-year-old Roberts.
The UFC is back on Saturday night with UFC Vegas 3. The fight card will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada where heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov will headline the card. One of the interesting bouts on the main card will be the Jim Miller-Roosevelt Roberts Lightweight showdown.
Miller is a 36-year-old veteran of the sport who has 46 total fights under his belt. For the most part, he’s been pretty successful but he’s struggled of late. Meanwhile, Roberts is just 26 years old and looks like an up-and-comer as a -245 favourite on the UFC odds board. Can he take care of business and beat the wily veteran in this spot?
UFC Vegas 3: Jim Miller vs. Roosevelt Roberts
There was a time when Miller was one of the trickier fighters in the Lightweight division and was even ranked in the Top 10 for a period of time. He was as high as No. 6 back in 2011 but he’s mostly moved in the other direction since. Sure, he has the most wins ever in the Lightweight division but that’s mostly a testament to how long he’s been fighting rather than how awesome he is. Miller started his career 20-2 with his losses coming to Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar. That seemed to be his apex, though. He’s not in desperate need of a win to stay in the UFC but he probably needs a win here if he wants to keep being featured on the main cards.
Miller enters Saturday’s festivities off a loss to Scott Holtzman at UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs Blachowicz 2 in February. That was his first loss in three fights but taking a look at the bigger picture, he has lost six of his last nine. It looks like he’s been put in place as a stepping stone bout for Roberts but we’ll see if the young buck can take care of business.
Roberts is just 10-1 in his MMA career, which is a strong record but it also indicates that he hasn’t been doing this for too long. His first professional fight was in late 2016, so some will feel like Saturday will be one of his toughest tests to date. He’s had just five UFC fights and has mostly fought lesser-known competition.
Roberts does a lot of damage on the ground as five of his 10 wins have come via submission, which sets up for an interesting showdown with Miller. Only four of Miller’s 31 wins have come via knockout, so you know both fighters will be angling to battle this out on the ground.
An interesting dynamic here is Roberts’ last win came on May 30th, so this is his second time fighting within a month. The first bout lasted mid-way into the second-round, so it’s not as he over-exerted himself. He probably wins this fight because he’s got some pop to his strikes and is quite good on the ground too, but this betting line seems a bit high for a fighter who is still relatively unproven and just fought a couple of weeks ago.
UFC Fight Night 173: Miller vs. Roberts Prediction: