Jim Miller earned his 16th UFC fight victory in the lightweight decision after his rematch against Joe Lauzon went to the judges for the second time. Again, the opening fight on the main card provided fans with high energy entertainment, in two fighters that gave their heart from the first minute to the last.
Paige VanZant needed just two rounds to defeat Bec Rawlings following her return to the Octagon. The 22-year-old had a tough opponent in Rawlings, but VanZant showed just how much mental strength she has following that loss to Rose Namajunas.
Jim Miller defeats Joe Lauzon via split decision
Four years later, UFC fans finally got their wish as the 'Fight of the Night' in 2012 finally got its rematch. Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller 2 got proceedings underway at UFC Vancouver, and like their last bout – this was something special.
That night, it was Miller who won the bout via decision after a blood-shed fight, and this one was no different. Both fighters gave it their all in the cage, but there’s a reason why Lauzon has the second most post-fight bonuses in UFC history – the Boston native really does put on a show after coming off one of the most important victories in his career; a first round knockout over Diego Sanchez.
Just like their first fight, the duo got underway at a high pace. Lauzon dominated the opening exchanges, capitalising on a slip from Miller to gain top position, but it was Miller who finished the round in a stronger position.
Miller started the second like he ended the first, but it was Lauzon who finished the aggressor. Prior to his bout, the 32-year-old said he wanted to close down the kicks of Miller, and that’s exactly what he did; taking the fight to the ground, before allowing Miller back up.
A flurry of elbows from Lauzon brought round two to end, and just like the first meeting, this fight needed a third round to determine the winner.
An explosive start to round three from Miller opened up a cut on Lauzon following a number of significant strikes; Lauzon managed to hold on, then taking the fight to the floor. Miller managed to get the fight back on its feet, but it was too little too late as another mistake from Miller allowed Lauzon to get back into top position, thus dominating the ground game.
This fight did go down to the judges for the second time, and whilst many MMA journalists had Lauzon down as the winner, the judges thought different.
It was however Miller than won the bout via split decision. Following the fight, Miller and Lauzon agreed they won’t be fighting each other again, will we see a trilogy? Unlikely.
Paige VanZant defeats Bec Rawlings via KO
After competing in Dancing with Stars, UFC Princess Paige VanZant couldn’t wait to return to the Octagon, after she lost to Namajunas in December 2015.
The 22-year-old said she missed the violence in MMA, and that showed in the opening three seconds of this bout as she charged at Bec Rawlings right from the off, landing a knee to the body. Despite the explosive start, it was the Australian Rawlings who dominated the first round, landing more significant punches, as VanZant’s gameplan looked to be to tire Rawlings out by staying on the outside, which resulted in this bout heading into a second round.
VanZant came out in the second round just like she started the first. In fact, it lights out in seconds for Rawlings, as 12 Gauge Paige VanZant knocked out her Aussie opponent with a jumping switch-kick. That will surely put her higher up in the rankings.