UFC 252 results: Vinc Pichel outworks Jim Miller for unanimous decision
Veteran Jim Miller has been on an amazing run over the past couple years. Already the holder of the most UFC lightweight wins (17), he made his promotional record 36th appearance Saturday night, his fifth fight in the past 17 months.
Problem was, this time around, he fought someone a year older and much less heralded in 37-year-old Vinc Pichel at UFC 252.
Competing for the first time in a year, Pichel fought like a man with something to prove, beating Miller (32-15 MMA, 21-14 UFC) at his own game by out-grappling him over the second and third rounds to earn a unanimous decision in the featured prelim bout at the UFC Apex. The judges scores were 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27.
“Jim was a tough, tough dude. That was a pretty tough fight,” Pichel said. “You know I’m not easy to take down. I was on top of my game tonight.”
Miller looked at the top of his game in the opening round, and he pushed the pace and wasted little time looking for the takedown. That happened near the round’s midpoint, when he whiffed on a Superman punch but immediately transitioned into a single leg and got the takedown. From there, Miller spent the rest of the round working for finishes, from a guillotine to a Peruvian necktie to a heel hook at the end of the round, but never quite got there.
But Pichel made adjustments in the second as it became apparent he was stronger and had more gas in the tank. Miller ate a head kick and turned it into a takedown, but this time Pichel ended up in top position. While he didn’t come close to a finish, he stymied Miller while continuously improving his position.
The third was a well-contested affair that saw both competitors have their moments in a round mostly on the mat. The fight’s outcome was likely still in the balance in the final minute. Miller went for a guillotine, but Pichel escaped, and his offense over the round’s closing seconds just might have won the decision.
Miller now has dropped two of his past three, while Pichel has won two straight and six of seven.
The lightweight bout closed out the UFC 252 preliminary card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 252 results include:
Vinc Pichel def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:44
Danny Chavez def. TJ Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Livinha Souza def. Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Chris Daukaus def. Parker Porter via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:28
Kai Kamaka III def. Tony Kelley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)