Juliana Miller earned herself a spot in The Ultimate Fighter 30 semifinals and gained a measure of revenge in the process.
In the season’s best fight thus far, Miller (2-1) won a unanimous decision over Claire Guthrie (3-1)* after three high-paced rounds of action. The two previously fought at an Invicta FC event in May 2021, with Guthrie earning a unanimous nod, but Miller’s non-stop offense and superior grappling gave her the edge in their rematch.
Miller came out guns blazing in each round, and Guthrie was there to meet her as the two exchanged punches early on. The game plan for Miller was to use her jab to control the range, then close the distance to create grappling opportunities. Guthrie’s takedown defense was on point, and she did most of her damage with a strong right hand that Miller absorbed repeatedly. A competitive opening round ended with both fighters brawling.
That action spilled into the second as Miller and Guthrie continued to land clean punches, much to the delight of UFC President Dana White and Forrest Griffin, who were seated cageside. Guthrie scored a takedown of her own, but Miller’s ground game gave her second thoughts about engaging on the mat, and the fight returned to the feet. The bout developed into an absolute dogfight, with Miller closing the second round strong by scoring a bodylock takedown and taking Guthrie’s back.
Unsurprisingly, the first two rounds were split, so the fight went to a third “sudden victory” round, and it was the relentless Miller who set the tone. She charged across the cage forcing Guthrie to counter with a bodylock takedown that proved to be the turning point of the round. Miller quickly moved into position for a kimura, sending them tumbling on the ground as Guthrie attempted to roll out of it. The submission wasn’t there, but Miller ended up on top in Guthrie’s half guard, a position she didn’t relinquish. Miller stayed in control while landing enough ground-and-pound to convincingly take the round and the fight.
Prior to the contest, there was weigh-in drama as Guthrie found herself a pound over at the scale. Even after stripping down and then using another hour to attempt to make the weight, Guthrie was still over by about a quarter of a pound, so it was decided that she should chop off some of her hair. That did the trick as she hit 126 pounds to make the fight official.
The last two heavyweights yet to compete are set to face off on next week’s episode as Team Peña’s Jordan Heiderman (5-0) fights Team Nunes’ Chandler Cole (8-3).
Here are the first-round results so far:
Zac Pauga def. Nyle Bartling via unanimous decision
Mohammed Usman def. Mitchell Sipe via unanimous decision
Eduardo Perez def. Bobby Maximus via TKO (strikes) (R1, 3:58)
Juliana Miller def. Claire Guthrie via unanimous decision
On next week’s episode, Team Peña’s Jordan Heiderman fights Team Nunes’ Chandler Cole in a heavyweight bout.
(*TUF bouts are considered exhibitions and fighters’ pro records are not affected by the results on the show)
Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter is coached by UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Peña and UFC featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. Peña defends her title against Nunes in a rematch that serves as the main event of UFC 277 on July 30 in Dallas.
The finalists of the TUF 30 heavyweight and flyweight tournaments will compete for a six-figure UFC contract at a finale event with a date still to be announced.
New episodes premiere at midnight every Monday exclusively on ESPN+.
Here is the TUF 30 roster divided by team:
*replacement for Chantel Coates
Advancing to semifinals: Pauga, Neil, Usman, Gallardo, Perez, Miller
Eliminated: Bartling, Peralta, Sipe, Coates, Paprocki, Maximus, Guthrie