by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Dan Miller will be stepping back into the Octagon this Saturday after making a successful debut back in September against Rob Kimmons. He impressed in his UFC debut getting Kimmons’ back early in the fight and securing a rear naked choke in less than 90 seconds of the first round.
Miller was pleased that things went as well as they did in his first fight, especially the efficiency with which he was able to take out Kimmons.
“I was pretty happy,” he said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “It went better than I was thought it was going to. Rob’s a real tough guy and I just caught a mistake.”
Formerly the International Fight League middleweight champion, Miller will be fighting another IFL veteran and former champion at UFC 90 in Chicago. Matt Horwich was originally slated to fight Miller’s teammate Ricardo Almeida, but Almeida was forced to withdraw due to an injury. The New Jersey native was tapped to step in and there was no hesitation on his end. “Right after my fight, I came out uninjured. I just let them know that I was ready any time they need somebody to step in. I just got lucky enough that they called on me.”
He believes that his quick and efficient debut helped to impress the powers that be to get him another shot quickly. “This is exactly that we wanted. Just proving that we’re worthy and that we deserve to be here.”
Matt Horwich had a pretty successful run in the IFL going 7-4 in his tenure there. Miller is well aware of Horwich’s skills and has seen him fight before, but he doesn’t over-study his opponent too much.
“I’ve seen Matt before in the IFL. I know pretty much what he’s about. I usually don’t go around and scout fighters,” he explained. “I just go in there and fight my fight. That’s what I try to do. Make the guy fight my fight. There wasn’t much scouting, but I have seen him fight. The kid has got a ton of heart. He’s tough as nails. If he wants something, he’s going to come and get it.”
Dan and his brother Jim fight out of AMA Fight Club, which is a Renzo Gracie affiliate in New Jersey, and includes teammates like Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Almeida and Brian McLaughlin. Miller gives a lot of credit to his team and believes that they are a core part of his success.
“Working with Frankie (Edgar) is incredible,” he said. “He’s 155 pounds, but he’s a freak, fast as hell. He can turn up the heat and put it on you. It’s really good training with those guys and Ricardo (Almeida) when he’s healthy.”
Miller is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and that is a place where he may have an advantage over Horwich in this fight. However, he isn’t necessarily committed to just taking his opponent down. He’s willing to adjust at any point during the fight depending on how things are going. “If I feel that I have to take the fight to the ground, then I’ll take the fight to the ground. If I think I’m winning, that I’m doing alright on my feet, then I’ll keep it on my feet. It all depends. I kind of go in trying to finish the guy. It’s just the way I fight.”