“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 winner submitted Miller with a second-round guillotine choke in the UFC on Fox 3 headliner on Saturday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. Diaz (16-7, 11-5 UFC) cinched the submission and coaxed the tapout from the New Jersey native 4:09 into round two, as he won for the third time in as many outings.
“I’m happy to come out and perform for you guys,” he said. “[Miller] is a great fighter. I have nothing bad to say about the guy. I had a hard time being motivated to train for this fight, so I had to [think about fighting] behind enemy lines.”
Miller’s game plan became clear from the outset, as he initiated the clinch and tried to engage Diaz in close quarters. It was ineffective, and once the two men separated, Diaz established his superiority on the feet. The 27-year-old Cesar Gracie disciple floored Miller with a straight left hand late in round one. The AMA Fight Club ace withstood the blow, but his face was bloodied and he was struggling to keep pace.
Diaz did not let him breathe in the second. He battered him with the high-volume punching attack that has become his calling card. Miller (21-4, 10-3 UFC) staggered forward and soon found himself trapped in the choke. Diaz adjusted his grip, rolled into full mount and sealed the deal there, perhaps cementing his position as the No. 1 contender for the UFC lightweight crown.
“He had my number. Nate is a tough guy. I knew that coming in,” Miller said. “He was just landing strikes and hurting me. [The game plan was to apply] pressure and not let him use his range, but he found it and went to work. Nothing was really surprising. He deserves that [title] shot. There shouldn’t be anything in his way now.”