by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Jim Miller is looking to make quite an impression to the higher ups at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He will be taking on Ultimate Fighter alumnus Gray Maynard Saturday night at UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio.
Miller has had two fights in the UFC and both of them have been on short notice. However, he shows up when called upon and has been impressive submitting Dave Baron at UFC 89 and decisioning Matt Wiman at UFC Fight for the Troops. Even though he’s performed well on short notice, he’s happy to get a full training camp in for his fight with Gray Maynard.
“The short notice is good for some things. There’s some pressure off of you and stuff like that,” Miller explained recently on an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “Other than that, it kind of sucks. I like getting a good training camp and get something to focus on and focus on my opponent. I like to build myself up and get mentally ready.”
Maynard is a formidable opponent at 4-0, with 1 NC in the UFC. While not currently known as a finisher, he still poses a very big threat to Miller in this match-up. “Gray is tough and he hasn’t shown many weaknesses so far. I had a nice, good, long training camp. It was important I think for this fight.”
Luckily for Miller, he has a training partner in Frankie Edgar that has already fought the Xtreme Couture fighter.
“He had mentioned a couple things, some tendency stuff that he saw in his fight with Gray, but more than anything else, it’s great to have another guy who fights at this level to train with a couple times a week,” replied Miller. “It doesn’t really matter if he fought the guy or not, he’s going to make me a better fighter.”
Maynard has exceptional wrestling which has been his opponent’s Achilles heel so far in his fights. Accepting the fact that Maynard has this dangerous weapon, Miller still trains as though he was fighting anyone else and keeps his training diverse. “I typically don’t try to train any differently for the type of fighter I’m fighting. He has good wrestling, solid boxing and good control on the ground. I just basically train the way I always have. I work hard on my striking and work on my wrestling and work on my ground game.”
A successful component that Miller possesses is his ability to push the pace of a fight. He doesn’t necessarily feel that his pushing the pace is due to great cardio as much as it’s about the pace of the fight.
“It’s not so much cardio, it’s pace,” he commented. “I’m not looking to go in there and feel good in the third round. If the fight goes to the third round, I want to be ready to puke by the time the fight ends because if I go in there and I fight hard, but not as hard as I can, and I lose a decision, then coming out I had more to give. That’s the worst thing. There’s nothing worse than that, knowing you could have fought harder and lost the decision.”
Everyone knows the importance of winning in the UFC; especially considering the fact that there have been substantial cuts as of late. Everyone also knows that putting on a good show will get you brought back more times than not. Miller feels that winning is definitely important, but giving it all you’ve got is the only way for him to fight.
“Winning is important in your career and financially it’s important for making a living doing this. That’s the goal a lot of guys have is just to win. I want to fight my best. I might get the chance to fight B.J. Penn and if he’s just a better fighter than me, you know, I could lose that fight,” said Miller. “As long as I go out there and fight as hard as I can, and not accept his will and all that stuff, it’s not going to be as bad in my mind losing to him because I didn’t go in there and play it safe. It’s just an attitude. I feel that attitude is the number one thing in this sport. You got to go in there and fight to have fun and leave it all in there.”