With Jared Gordon yanked from the UFC Vegas 74 card this weekend after openly discussing suffering concussion-like symptoms less than two months ago, the hunt was on for a replacement fighter to meet veteran of veterans Jim Miller. With just two days to the fight, that seemed like a dubious task at best, but newcomer Jesse Butler is stepping in against Miller, who will be making his 42nd walk to the UFC octagon.
Standing at five-foot-ten
Fighting at 145 lbs (featherweight)
Fighting out of West Monroe, Louisiana
Training out of Kron Gracie West Monroe
A pro record of 12-4
1 KO/TKO, 8 Submissions
How will Butler fare in the UFC:
Butler is known to most for his viral knockout of former UFC fighter Masio Fullen. Most wouldn’t know that has been his only finish by KO/TKO. He’s more of a submission guy but his wrestling doesn’t match his submission base. You won’t see Butler use traditional wrestling. You will instead see him get takedowns from upper body locks while utilizing trips. Most of the time he’s getting the submission because it starts off with him getting taken down.
Butler has borderline awful takedown defense. He has barely any resistance defending takedowns. He’s so confident off his back that he will just fall to his back. Butler is always attacking off his back throwing up his legs and fishing for leg locks. I don’t even rate his grappling that high. Most of his submissions are caught in scrambles or off his back. That’s not going to happen with the better competition he will fight in the UFC. Butler isn’t one to make move after move as he’s more of a catch grappler.
Butler is a better grappler than anything but does have a few bright spots on the feet. He has some quiet power, a good jab, and a nice one-two. Butler doesn’t use enough feints and footwork to be a real threat on the feet. He’s dangerous in exchanges but is vulnerable at the same time. He brings his hands back to his face too slowly as his striking defense is average at best.
I don’t expect a lot from Butler. He could get a win or two in the UFC but he’s going to struggle. He doesn’t do anything great and the things he does well are not good enough at a high level.
How he matches up with Miller:
Miller is a tough one to get for your UFC debut on short notice. The last two guys making their debut against Miller lost to him by knockout. Butler definitely isn’t out-grappling or submitting Miller so he has to beat him on the feet. On the other side, Miller could just easily take this fight down and go from there. Butler has to win by knockout but Miller has always been so durable. Miller, even though he’s almost 40, is levels above Butler. I don’t see a path to victory for Butler.