The MTV star and Ultimate Fighter coach managed to use his grappling skills to stymie Michael Bisping for most of the first frame, but late in the opening round he began to fade, and his decline only got worse as the fight wore on.
Bisping, meanwhile, got sharper and crisper with his striking as Miller got slower and sloppier, and the result was a mostly one-sided beatdown for the next two rounds that came to a merciful halt at 3:34 of round three.
After the event, Bisping brushed off suggestions that he'd only managed to stop Miller because of fatigue, saying "Any time I stop someone it's because they gas. I guarantee Jason didn't gas. I guarantee Jason could have gone five rounds."
As Bisping saw it, his win wasn't a result of Miller's fatigue so much as Miller's fatigue was a result of the punishment Bisping doled out over the course of the three rounds.
"This was a big opportunity for Jason. I guarantee he had the cardio to go five [rounds]," Bisping said. "Guess what? You might have cardio, but when someone's landing big body shots like I was, kneeing you in the stomach and punching you repeatedly in the face, your cardio gets affected. The best runners in the world, you kick the [expletive] out of them, they won't run quite as well."
Whatever the cause, Miller was running on fumes by the end of the second round. Bisping kept the strikes coming, bloodying Miller's face and following him around the cage, while all Miller could do in response was wing looping punches and dive for takedowns that got easier and easier for Bisping to avoid. Near the end of the second frame, Miller even put his hands at his sides and taunted Bisping as the Brit teed off on his face.
"I had Charles McCarthy do that back at UFC 83. He did the same thing. That's normally the sign of a man who hasn't got anything else to do. They're trying to get a bit of bravado because they can't fight back, so they'll just try and look tough while they're getting their asses kicked."
The end came for Miller after a failed takedown attempt in round three left him turtled up and helpless to respond as Bisping hammered his head and body. When it became clear that Miller was incapable of fighting back, referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in to stop it.
"This was a satisfying victory," Bisping said afterward. "Jason jumped on the bandwagon of that a) nobody likes me, and b) I'm not a very good fighter, and I don't deserve...all the rewards I've received for being a professional fighter all this time. He was quick to discredit me, that I was given hand-picked opponents and things like that. That doesn't sit well with me, and I find it very offensive. It was nice to go out there and teach him a lesson."
It was particularly satisfying to end the fight via TKO since Miller had criticized him for a lack of power, Bisping said, saying he had "pillow hands."
"For someone who has no punching power, I do believe the statistic is that seven out of eight of my last opponents have all gone to the hospital. While I'm sitting here doing this, he's probably in the back of an ambulance."
Miller was, in fact, taken to a hospital to get checked out, according to UFC officials. Bisping, however, showed little damage aside from a lump above his left eye that he said was the result of an accidental headbutt.
And while the UFC's announcement of a number one contender bout between Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz in January likely means that Bisping won't rocket up to the top of the division as a result of this one win, that's fine with him, he said -- as long as he gets a fight that help to keep moving in that direction.
"I class myself as one of the best in the world. I think I consistently prove that. I want to fight for the belt. I've been around the UFC a long time, and that's what I want to do. That's what all fighters want to do. Looks like Chael and Mark Munoz, they're going to fight for number one contender. Fair enough. In the meantime, I want to fight whoever it is that gets me closer to that belt."
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