Welcome to CagedInsider’s UFC 196 liveblog coverage. Yes, we’ve got Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz throwing down in the waning hours of the evening, but before then there’s some action on deck.
Right now it’s Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller in the “main event” of the Fight Pass prelims.
Sanchez literally sprints across the Octagon and reaches for Miller’s leg, and it takes some acrobatics for Miller to roll out of trouble. Once he does, he slows things down considerably by firing off single strikes – kicks, punches, knees and elbows – and timing his counters to make Sanchez thing twice about getting reckless. Halfway through the round Sanchez lunges for and gets a takedown, and the clock runs out with him dropping some stifling ground and pound.
Round 2 opens with about two minutes of Miller planting well-timed punches on his opponent whenever he comes in range, and it’s an effective strategy. But when he throws a thudding body-kick, Sanchez catches the leg and takes him down. Miller needs all of ten seconds to get up though, and he continues to make Sanchez pay on the feet. With about 30 seconds left in the round Sanchez shoots in and Miller catches his neck with a sprawl, and the round ends with the New Jersey native briefly taking his back.
Sanchez turns up the heat on his strikes in Round 3, and it enables him to score more in the exchanges and give Miller tons of pause. Miller lands one hard left to his foe’s chin, but that edge he had on the feet in the two prior rounds has evaporated. Sanchez scores with two brief takedowns, and time runs out with both men swinging wildly.
Result: Diego Sanchez def. Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision