UFC lightweight contender Jim Miller (21-4, MMA) joined MMA Fight Corner on Friday night and said he hasn’t fought since UFC on FOX 3 in May because he was recovering from an injury he suffered in his fight against Nate Diaz. Now, he’s back to full health and ready to take on the challenges that a finisher like Joe Lauzon (22-7, MMA) presents.
This week it was announced that Miller is stepping into fight Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 on December 29th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. After taking time to recuperate from an ankle injury, Miller said he can’t wait to get back in the Octagon and face Lauzon.
“I’m just excited to get back in there. I haven’t been able to fight for six months now, it’s getting a little frustrating. It’s a great fight, he’s a fantastic fighter, I’m just anxious to get back in there and put on a show, put on a fight.”
“I had a tear in a muscle in my ankle at some point in the first round of that fight. It was one of those things where I was in a walking boot for a couple weeks and was out of the gym until probably sometime in August, and then I got back in,” Miller explained. “There was that, and then it was just waiting for the right fight that the UFC wanted to make.”
Lauzon is no slouch in the division. Aside from a knockout loss to Anthony Pettis at UFC 144, Lauzon has three wins in his last four fights. Though Miller suffered with a pair of losses in his last three fights, prior to that he had a 7-fight win streak going. Knowing he’s about to scrap with a man that has the 2nd most bonuses in the UFC, Miller’s expecting a competitive bout.
“He’s a scrappy dude. He comes out and really just doesn’t care, and it’s just aggressive. I like watching him fight, I like that style and I think I match up well against that. To me, it’s just a fight and wherever it goes I have to be on my best because he’s dangerous everywhere. But, he’s not unbeatable. I’m going in there and I’m going to be aggressive as well and I’m going to try to catch him.”
With both fighters having a propensity to work for finishes, Miller’s aware that anything can happen.
“When the pace gets up, either one of us could catch the other guy. And that’s probably how it will end, we’ll probably catch each other in a fast paced scramble. It’s just trying to be the quicker man and the better man on that night.”
A perennial contender in the lightweight division, Jim Miller has yet to wear the UFC championship strap. The closest he got was facing Nate Diaz in UFC on FOX 3’s title eliminator. Miller lost via submission in the second round of the battle. His other losses are also to UFC champions, or men who challenged for the title: Benson Henderson, Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar, though his fight with Edgar was before they were in the UFC.
Even if Miller hasn’t got to compete for the title yet, he’s not letting that discourage him, or stop him from trying.
“I know what I’m capable of. I know that it means that I’m up there. The four guys that have beaten me, now with Nate fighting Ben, will all have fought for the UFC title. I just had a couple things go wrong in fights. It’s just the name of the game. I know I can beat anyone of those guys that beat me. It’s just having the better night than they did and not letting my opponents get momentum and being the better man on that night.”
He added, his thoughts on what it will take for him to get the edge come December against J-Lau.
“When you’re in there, there’s so many things that go on where you take a good shot, or not, or you land a good shot, or you just missed a shot that might be good. There’s so many little things it’s really just…being lucky basically when it comes down to it and doing anything you’re capable of.”
Check out the interview with Jim Miller below. TUF competitor Bristol Marunde was also a guest of the show and asked a Miller a burning question of his own.
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