Time and time again, Jim Miller and his brother Dan have answered the call when the UFC has a hole to fill.
And the way that 2012 went for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in regards to injuries, there have been a lot of calls made. So it was inevitable that Miller’s phone would ring one more time to come to the rescue for Saturday night’s UFC 155 in Las Vegas.
That call came when Joe Lauzon’s original opponent, Gray Maynard, fell out of the bout.
There was no hesitation.
“It was yes right away,” Miller told MMAWeekly Radio about the call coming in to replace Maynard.
“It’s a little more pressure in getting the weight down. But I think, as a professional fighter, if you can’t be ready in six weeks, you need to reevaluate your lifestyle.”
Miller is quick to point out that stepping up on short notice is still a personal choice for each fighter, but he has a love of the fight game, it’s in his blood, so when he has the opportunity to fight, he’s going to take it.
“It’s up to the guy, if you’re not comfortable, don’t do it,” he puts it quite simply. “If you don’t feel that you can properly train for the guy, then don’t do it. It is a personal decision.
“Me, I live for this. I love to fight. I generally like to fight. I really enjoy the lifestyle of training for a fight and everything that goes into it. I was really hoping to get another one in by the end of the year and this one is just squeaking in.”
Luckily for Miller, however, it’s not just another fight.
Lauzon, like Miller himself, is perennially a half-step away from moving into contention for the UFC lightweight championship. A victory over Lauzon would go a long way towards putting Miller’s name back “in the mix” after he lost to Nate Diaz earlier this year.
It doesn’t put him in the Octagon across from current champ Benson Henderson, but it puts Miller back in the fights that would get him there.
Not only that, but Lauzon is a similar type of fighter to Miller.
Both men love to fight, and they love to fight for the finish. Neither is content to grind out a decision just to earn the “W,” they both want to finish the fight and leave a stamp on it.
“It was good to hear Joe’s name and know that I’m fighting a guy that has proven himself in the division and has proven himself as one of the top guys. That excites me,” Miller declared. “I want the big names. I want the tough fights.
“Not only do I like watching Joe fight – we have a similar style in that aggressiveness – but also I tend to do well against guys that are aggressive.
“It’s good in two ways: it’s gonna be a fun fight, a high-paced fight, two guys really going after each other trying to finish; and it works pretty good in my favor.”
Mr. Dependable steps into the Octagon with Lauzon in Saturday night’s UFC 155 co-main event in Las Vegas.