2016 Year in Review: Fight team dominates, wins two belts!
2016 was a successful year for the Miller Brothers MMA & Fitness fight team, with everything from successful competitive debuts to Jim Miller’s victory on the biggest stage the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen. In total, the team went 12-2 on the year, and brought home two new belts.
Jim reclaimed his spot among the lightweight elites in 2016, notching wins on the two biggest cards of the year during his active three-fight winning streak. He got things started at UFC 200, with a first round TKO against Takanori Gomi to become the only man with a win at both UFC 100 and UFC 200. Jim followed up the victory with a rematch of his 2012 Fight of the Year bout with Joe Lauzon, and once again left the victor at the end of an action-packed bout. Jim rounded out his year with an appearance on the biggest card in MMA history — the UFC’s New York debut at Madison Square Garden, where he didn’t let his opponent Thiago Alves coming in heavy stop him from another dominant victory.
Professor Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella, the top flyweight outside the UFC, added yet another belt to his collection by reclaiming his spot atop the CFFC mountain. Shorty earned his shot with a comprehensive victory in a #1-contender bout, and when the champion refused to take a fight with him, instead took on Matt Lozano for the CFFC belt where he used his dominant grappling to secure a third round rear naked choke victory. Shorty was joined as a Miller Brothers MMA champion by Tyler Bayer, who won the PA Cage Fight Amateur Middleweight Title. The rules to Tyler’s bout were changed shortly before he was to enter the cage, and while the changes removed much of what he had gameplanned to do, Tyler still went out and exerted his will for the unanimous decision victory.
Coach Mike Pagano took part in the 2016 Fort Bragg Combatives Invitational and after securing his place in the semifinals during the grappling portion of the event, won his pancrase-rules match by TKO. Cristian Santos and Jim Fitzpatrick also added victories in 2016, with Cristian securing a quick rear naked choke and Jim winning a clear decision on the same card as Tyler’s title fight.
Finally, two of our fighters made their amateur mixed martial arts debuts with us this year, and both Frank Wallace and Joe Tizzano made everyone at the gym proud. Both men used their grappling to neutralize their opponents, gain dominant positions and work to finish the fight from on top.
We are very proud of the entire Miller Brothers MMA fight team for their outstanding showing this year, and look forward to more great things in the future — including a very busy February. Stay tuned to keep up to date with everything that’s going on!