by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
When brothers Dan and Jim Miller signed on with the UFC, many fans were not familiar with the New Jersey tandem, but it didn’t take long for just about everybody to take notice of what they were doing right.
Dan Miller is now a perfect 3-0 in the Octagon with his last win coming against former NCAA champion wrestler Jake Rosholt in early February. His brother, Jim Miller, currently sits at 2-0, and is looking for a third win next weekend when he faces Gray Maynard at UFC 96.
While Jim will have a full camp to prepare for Maynard, both he and his brother have become synonymous with stepping up on short notice and taking fights on just a moment’s notice.
Mike Constantino, leader of the AMA Fight Club, where Dan and Jim Miller train, says that they’ve got it down to a science when preparing for a fight with little notice or a full training camp.
“The preparation’s pretty simple. You’re not going to learn anything new in a week or two weeks or three weeks, it’s not like we’re going to teach new techniques,” Constantino said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. “They stay sharp, they stay in shape the whole time. The good thing about being part of a large camp that has over 30 professional fighters, somebody is always training for a fight. The good thing about the Millers is they are the best teammates that you could ever have.”
The Miller brothers have served as an example to teammates and new fighters coming into the gym with their selfless attitude towards helping their teammates.
“One story, Jim Miller went three rounds with Bart Palaszewski in the IFL on a Friday night and Sunday morning he was in the gym helping his teammate prepare for a fight,” Constantino commented. “Those are the types of guys that they are. Most guys would have taken off for two weeks. The Millers are back in the gym, they’re always training.”
Working with lead jiu-jitsu instructor and Renzo Gracie black belt Jamie Cruz, along with Constantino, who leads the striking instruction, and new strength and conditioning coach Martin Rooney, the AMA Fight team has tried to implement all the elements to turn the Miller brothers into champions.
One of the most recent occasions that the UFC came calling for one of the Miller brothers to step in and fight was when teammate Frankie Edgar was forced out of his scheduled bout against Matt Wiman at the UFC Fight for the Troops show in December. Just coming back from his honeymoon and after celebrating Thanksgiving with his family, Jim Miller was called on Tuesday, just one week away from fight time, and asked to step in.
“I said, ‘Jim, you’ve got a fight on Wednesday night, seven days from now, what’s your weight?’ It was like 180 or 170-something, and I said, ‘Can you do it?’ He said we will do it,” Constantino recalled.
That attitude has become a welcome addition for Dan in the UFC’s middleweight division and Jim in the lightweight class, and it’s something Constantino told UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to expect as soon as the family of fighters signed on with the promotion.
“We told Joe Silva from day one, you give the Miller brothers a chance, we’ll fight anyone, any place, any day and any time, and we’ve lived up to it,” said Constantino. “He’s called numerous occasions and we’ve never turned down a fight, nor would we ever.”
With a growing roster of fighters, the Miller brothers have served as an example to their peers and it’s their heart, determination, and leadership that make them such a commodity in their gym.
“They’re leaders from top to bottom,” Constantino said. “I would never ask somebody in my gym to do something that I wouldn’t do, or I haven’t done in my past. To have somebody there like a Danny or Jimmy, to lead by example, is great. It makes people want to train.”
The next test for the Miller brothers will come for Jim as he heads to Columbus, Ohio, and faces Gray “The Bully” Maynard on March 7 at UFC 96.