Sometimes it takes making a little noise to get noticed, so going into UFC 124 Jim Miller was determined to make sure everyone paid attention. After finishing off undefeated prospect Charles Oliveira with a kneebar in the first round of their fight, Miller took to the microphone and let everyone know what was on his mind.
“I want my shot,” shouted Miller.
Usually a soft-spoken fighter, Miller has seen other lightweights mentioned as title contenders and top ranked fighters, but somehow his name has been left out. Even with a 7-1 record in the UFC prior to his fight in Montreal, he came in as a betting underdog to his younger and less experienced opponent.
When Miller grabbed the mic from UFC commentator Joe Rogan, he says it’s something that ran through his mind beforehand and then he just took advantage of the moment.
“It was something I was thinking about, and it was the heat of the moment, too. I honestly feel that my name should have been in the talks for the top of the division, and contendership fights, and title fights, and things like that, and it hadn’t happened,” Miller said when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
“I want it to be the way I fight that gets me that recognition, and hopefully it was that performance really. I was just kind of letting off a little steam after.”
With an impressive record in and out of the UFC, the fact that his name wasn’t mentioned among the upper echelon of lightweights got under Miller’s skin. He hopes the victory at UFC 124 and his declaration afterwards that people will start to pay attention to the work ethic he’s shown in the cage.
“It’s a fact. The only guys that beat me, beat me by decision, and they’re No. 1 and No. 2. Frankie (Edgar’s) only loss is to Gray (Maynard). Gray’s undefeated. My only two losses are to them. So why are there five, six, seven guys people always say between me and those top two guys? I feel that I should be right up there, and there’s no reason people shouldn’t have me as No. 3,” declared Miller.
Miller is up to whatever challenge the UFC lays at his doorstep next. He wants everyone to understand that during his time with the UFC, he’s never turned down a fight, and he’s stepped up to face everyone the promotion has put in front of him. Now he’s ready to start calling people by name to make sure people recognize he wants to fight the best.
“I’d love the next shot at the title. I’d love a shot at (Kenny) Florian when he’s healthy, or (Sean) Sherk, or I really would have liked them not to have given (George) Sotiropoulos (someone) so quickly. I know they’re trying to build up the Australian market, but to me a fight between me and him makes sense,” Miller stated.
The UFC has named Dennis Siver as Sotiropoulos’ opponent for UFC 127 in Australia, but the promotion has never backed down from replacing one fighter with another if it made sense. And if the UFC came calling to ask Jim Miller to step in and fight on the Australian card?
“I’d be on that in a heartbeat,” he answered.
The New Jersey native will head back into the gym to help teammate Charlie Brenneman prepare for his upcoming fight and wait for the UFC to call, and he hopes the voice at the other end has a big fight coming his way.