By Benjamin Bieker
Jim Miller competes this weekend at UFC 159, and the lightweight fighter says he is on a mission to prove he belongs in a title fight. It was recently announced that the winner of the Gray Maynard and TJ Grant bout would get the next shot at the title, but Miller knows that like all “guaranteed” title shots in the UFC things can always change. Unlike most fighters who want a title shot, Miller is not looking past his next opponent in Pat Healy. No, he wants to make an example of the Strikeforce import by showing off to UFC president Dana White just how good he is. In a perfect world, Miller says he would dispose of the every tough fighter in the first round and show he has finishing abilities.
Finishing power is one thing that Miller said he has been working on coming out of his fight with Joe Lauzon. Miller knew he had Lauzon badly hurt in the first round of their fight, and he said that inability to finish has haunted him ever since. He cannot complain though, because the bout with Lauzon went to earn him an extra $65,000 in bonus money and went on to award both fighters “fight of the year”.
Healy and Miller hold a lot of the same values in fighting, because both are very tough, have grinding abilities, and do not give up when everyone says they are going to lose. That is where the comparisons end though. Miller is one of the best fighters that the UFC has to offer at lightweight right now. In his career, he has only ever lost to champions or title challengers in the form of Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Nate Diaz, and Benson Henderson.
In the UFC lightweight division, he has one of the top winning records at 11-3. The only other person with over ten wins that has a better record is Benson Henderson, but five of his wins came in the now defunct WEC promotion. With a BJJ black belt and NCAA division one wrestling credentials, Miller could easily play the lay and pray style but that is not in him. In his 22 wins as a professional, 15 of them have come by stoppage, and 12 of those stoppages were by submission. In defeat, he has only ever been finished one time due to the crafty grappling of Nate Diaz.
If Miller wins this weekend, he will have gone 3-1 since his defeat to Benson Henderson. He will have submitted Melvin Guillard which came at before Guillard’s current losing streak, took Joe Lauzon to the limit in an amazing display of grit and will, and if he finishes Healy impressively he will become only the second man to do so at lightweight. That is a lot more impressive than Maynard who has only had one lackluster bout with Clay Guida since losing his title shot to Frankie Edgar. That is why Jim Miller deserves your respect, and even if you do not give it to him he will try and earn it this weekend..
What are your thoughts?