Our first preview of the UFC 108 main card will focus on the lightweight tilt between New Jersey-native and UFC veteran Jim Miller (15-2, 4-1 UFC) and returning UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig (19-9, 2-0 UFC). Miller is coming into this contest riding a two-fight win streak with victories over Steve Lopez and Mac Danzig following a loss to potential contender Gray Maynard at UFC 96. Ludwig spent 2008 and 2009 in Strikeforce and Sengoku with notable victories over Yves Edwards, Sammy Morgan, and Ryan Roberts while dropping losses to former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi and Strikeforce lightweight prospect Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm.
Ludwig brings a plethora of kickboxing and Muay Thai credentials into this fight along with a history of powerful knockout ability. His most dangerous skill is his striking game, and he’ll easily be in an advantageous position to win this fight on the feet. His major weakness is the ground game, and it really hasn’t improved that dramatically over the years as Lyle Beerbohm was able to secure a takedown almost instantly and control Ludwig before stopping him via a bulldog choke inside the first round back in June.
Miller will want to try to exploit that weakness as he has a solid wrestling base coupled with some slick jiu-jitsu transitions and submission abilities. He hasn’t focused heavily on those submission transitions as of late as he’s relied more on his striking and wrestling ability in conjunction with his conditioning, but that should be enough to put Ludwig on his back and put him into some real danger.
Ludwig should be able to find some weaknesses in Miller’s stand-up game as Gray Maynard was able to batter Miller throughout their fight back in March, but Miller should recognize what Ludwig’s gameplan will entail in the lead-up to this fight. Don’t count out Ludwig though. His hands could easily end this fight in quick fashion . Miller will want to avoid the clinch and look for openings in Ludwig’s weaker takedown defense. I’ll take Miller via a submission choke on the ground in this contest.
With a victory, Miller should have his name tossed into the hat for some bigger fights. He’ll have rattled off three straight victories, but a stoppage of Ludwig should go a long ways to securing him a much more important fight and putting his name back in the mix for a shot at contention.
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