Jim Miller (21-3) isn’t the most charismatic member of the stacked 155-pound field but he is one of the most talented – Without the gift of the gab and outspoken nature of his fellow counterparts it’s been a long journey to the top for the New Jersey native.
Miller, who recently brought his second child into the world, silently chipped away at a seven bout unbeaten streak that forced UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to take a serious look at him as a contender.
In a bout that was falsely rumored to be a title-eliminator Miller fought the newly crowned UFC lightweight king Benson Henderson. Despite being considered the favorite by most, he was outclassed by Henderson, dropping a thrilling victory on the judges’ score cards putting Henderson in an elite group of men able to beat the native of Sparta, New Jersey.
Heading back to the drawing board following his first defeat in over two years, forced the younger Miller brother to re-evaluate his game and he wasted no time putting it into action submitting devastating power-puncher Melvin Guillard in a little over two minutes.
This Saturday night on the UFC’s third effort on the FOX network, Miller will be receiving top billing in the biggest fight of his career against Nate Diaz (15-7).
The younger of the famed Diaz brothers has been a staple of the UFC since 2007, after flip flopping around the past few years between 170 and 155-pounds he has finally settled in with back-to-back performances that UFC commentator Joe Rogan dubbed the ‘most impressive of his career’.
Firstly he schooled former Pride lightweight champ and divisional king Takanori Gomi before he spoiled the perfect year of Donald Cerrone, setting a CompuStrike record, landing 82% of the strikes he threw en route to his victory over the Greg Jackson trained slugger.
Showing off his incredibly fast, accurate and powerful strikes against Cerrone raised the eyebrows of everyone in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada but Miller feels he is prepared to deal with his impressive arsenal.
“Well we have a couple of really lanky guys at AMA [Fight Club], Nate has a difficult style to deal with but not a hard style to emulate, he’s not a flashy guy and doesn’t throw a lot of crazy techniques so it wasn’t that difficult to have guys mimic him.”
For the hardcore fans that appreciate high-level grappling we are crossing our fingers that these two will trade submissions on the floor during their highly publicized encounter, and with 24 submissions between them there’s a good chance of it.
“It’s a 25 minute fight so if it goes the distance it will definitely hit the mat; I’m looking for the sub and if I can get the opportunity I can sub anybody out so yeah it’s definitely something I’m looking for and trying to make happen.”
When the cage door closes at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the partisan crowd will be strongly behind Miller but this fight will serve as the first time that he and his opponent have gone 25 minutes inside the cage.
“We changed up a little bit, did a bit more dedicated cardio work but going from 3 to 5 [rounds] comes down to the confidence in the mental aspect of it. I was training just as long when I was training for 3 round fights so it’s just a matter of preparing myself for that extra 10 minutes.”
With a win both men can make a serious claim at being the next in line to challenge the winner of the inevitable rematch between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson, Miller has a loss against his name to both of those supreme 155-pounders and I bet he would love to get those blemishes of his record.
Catch the entire interview along with a chat with Live Audio Wrestling & The Fight Networks’s John Pollock here
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