by Brian Lopez-Benchimol – MMAWeekly.com
Jim Miller seemed to be on the fast track towards a title shot, since making his long anticipated debut in the big show at UFC 89, when he squared off against the highly touted David Baron. Baron just had come off the biggest win of his career, submitting prized Japanese fighter Hayato Sakurai in the first round.
After handing Baron his first loss in five fights with an impressive third-round rear naked choke (garnering Submission of the Night), he followed up the victory with another exciting performance with a unanimous decision win over Ultimate Fighter veteran Matt Wiman, who was on a four-fight win streak inside the Octagon.
Now on the heels of his first loss inside the UFC and only second overall coming against rising prospect Gray Maynard, the New Jersey native will look to regain the momentum he lost when he faces Season Six winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Mac Danzig. The bout marks one of his sternest tests to date as a professional fighter and a win would undoubtedly cement his spot back near the top of the lightweight ladder.
Not to mention his fight with Danzig is to be on the UFC’s centennial card, which by no stretch of the matter is a big deal in and of itself.
“(The UFC) is going to put on such a big show; that’s so respectful,” explained one-half of the Miller brothers.
“The size of the event, I think just all of Vegas, there’s gonna be a buzz with the UFC itself. It should be great publicity to be on the card.”
While Miller garnered his first loss back in 2006, against fellow UFC fighter and current training partner Frankie Edgar, he is well aware of how to adapt a loss and turn it into a positive, gaining the most from the situation in order to continue to improve himself as a fighter.
“Like they always say, you learn more from a loss than you do from a win.”
Though Danzig has been on a slide as of late, going 0-2 in his two most recent outings in the UFC against the grizzly Clay Guida and the always-tough Josh Neer (respectively), Miller chooses to ignore those performances and judge Danzig as a whole. He recognizes the talents and the ferocity that Danzig will bring into their bout when they lock horns on July 11. It’s a bout that could very well be a ‘loser leaves town’ kind of bout.
“I’m coming off one loss, he’s coming off two. If I was coming off another loss in a row I’d definitely be really fired up to go out there and whoop some ass. I’m actually looking forward to it; I hope he comes after me. I want to be in a fun fight.”
Always one to please, Miller is approaching this bout like any other and is well aware of the dangers of Danzig, knowing full well that despite the losses, he is as complete a fighter as there is in the lightweight division, using his stand-up and ground game effectively in all of his fights. However, it’s the threat that Danzig brings that excites Miller the most, who constantly wants to test himself to prove that he belongs amongst the best in his class.
“I know he’s dangerous everywhere. He’s probably one of the better guys everywhere that I’ve fought. He definitely has a great (submission) game and he’s got very solid hands, so he’s a threat wherever the fight leads. I just look at it as I want tough fights. That’s what I want, that’s why I’m here. The Gray (Maynard) fight was my third fight in the UFC and I’m fighting a top contender, in a matter of months. It’s where I think I belong and it’s where I want to stay.”