Jim Miller “Looking For A Title Shot In 2011”
By Dave Carpinello
UFC lightweight contender Jim Miller talked with PDG about his recent victory over Charles Oliveira at UFC 124, the UFC lightweight division, his brother Dan, training at AMA Fight Club, Assassin’s Creed and 2011.
PDG: You won your sixth fight in a row last month at UFC 124 with a first round submission; how did it feel to beat an undefeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist?
Jim Miller: It felt really good, he is a tough kid with a lot of potential and getting the win in the fashion that I did was pretty cool.
PDG: What is like to be riding a six fight winning streak in the UFC?
Jim Miller: It is nice to be getting the recognition by beating these guys because during my time in the UFC I have fought some very tough guys. I don’t think that the guys I have fought get the respect they deserve and neither do I for that matter.
PDG: During your fight it didn’t seem like Joe Rogan or Mike Goldberg were giving you much of chance at winning. What goes through your mind when you re-watch your fights and you hear that kind of rhetoric?
Jim Miller: [Laughs] You definitely have to take it with a grain of salt. Those guys are trying to explain what is going on in the fight and then also just talking. I don’t take it personally because they are almost always on the side of my opponent so I am used to it.
PDG: Where do you think your victory over Charles Oliveira puts you in the UFC lightweight division?
Jim Miller: I think it puts me near the top because nobody else has been able to beat the guys that I have and in my personal opinion I should be the #3 ranked lightweight because I have only lost to the champion (Frankie Edgar) and the guy (Gray Maynard) who just fought him to a draw. I think that my performances in the cage show that I belong up there with those guys.
PDG: Do you think your opinion will change when the lightweights from the WEC are fully integrated into the UFC?
Jim Miller: Anthony Pettis was supposed to get the next shot but with that fight ending in a draw, everything is up in the air now and my chance may be delayed for a while now. I guess we will just see what the UFC offers up, I am not one to turn down fights, so when they come up with something I will take it.
PDG: Speaking of Pettis, have you ever seen anything like that kick he landed on Ben Henderson?
Jim Miller: No I haven’t, that was pretty impressive. It was a really good fight overall, both of those guys really go at it when they get into the cage but I think Pettis would have a really difficult time if he fought Edgar or Maynard because both of them are very strong grapplers.
PDG: Were you more impressed with the kick or the fact that it didn’t knock Henderson out cold?
Jim Miller: Henderson is one tough kid. He took some big shots in that fight and he just kept working. I think he could have won the fight if he moved forward more, by backing up he let Pettis control the range in the fight and you can’t do that when you are facing a really good striker. You can’t let him plant and get comfortable and I think Henderson may have messed up the gameplan in that fight.
PDG: You and your brother Dan made a little bit of history at UFC 124, being only the second set of brothers to fight on the same UFC card and the first to both win at the same event.
Jim Miller: Yeah, it felt great, the Lauzon brothers, Joe and Dan fought on the same card last January but both of them lost. So it was really good that Dan and I were able to come away with wins. Dan had a tough grind out victory and it seems that whenever he fights before me I always end up fighting better than I normally do. When we are both preparing for a fight it really increases our focus and when we hit the cage we are ready to go.
PDG: What is the level of competition between you and your brother? As far as who fights on the main card, rankings, etc?
Jim Miller: There really isn’t any, we push eachother hard in practice and we are both invested in the other’s career. We are a package deal in a lot of ways, so when Dan is successful it is good for me and when I am successful, it is good for Dan. There really isn’t any competition but we do have a bit of a rivalry in the gym as we try to one up eachother but I think that has helped both of us increase our skill sets. It is good having a brother in the MMA business with me.
PDG: You guys train at AMA Fight Club with a good group of fighters; who are your primary training partners?
Jim Miller: Coaching wise, Mike Constantino is our game planner, he is the head trainer for MMA. We also have pretty good Muay Thai guys that work out of there and not to mention our wrestling and other coaches. We have a great group of trainers and coaches and training partner wise, we got several UFC fighters including Ricardo Romero, Andy Main from The Ultimate Fighter, and a bunch of other tough guys that are from the area or that come from other states.
PDG: You mentioned Andy Main, what was the biggest difference you noticed in him after he returned from being on TUF?
Jim Miller: His overall attitude to training changed and I think that he gained a lot of experience from being on the show. Being a young kid, I think the show really broadened his horizons and to be able to get that experience at such an early age is going to be really good for him going forward. Andy will be back in the UFC in no time.
PDG: Are you or your brother gamers?
Jim Miller: Dan is a bigger gamer than me but I play a little. We play the Xbox 360 and if it is not first person shooters, it is Assassin’s Creed. Call of Duty and Gears of War are also great games and I refuse to play the UFC game until I am in it, so maybe I’ll be playing the next one.
PDG: Are you playing Assassin’s Creed II or Brotherhood?
Jim Miller: I just finished Assassin’s Creed II, I got kind of side-tracked and then when the new one was coming out I decided it was time to get back in there and finish it. It is a pretty awesome series and I am looking forward to playing Brotherhood.
PDG: Since you live in New Jersey, who are the sports teams that you follow?
Jim Miller: To be honest, I watch a little bit of football here and there but I am an MMA guy. I am more of a doer than I am a watcher and if I am not getting punched in the face then the sport really doesn’t appeal to me anymore.
PDG: So how much time after your victory did you take off before you started training again?
Jim Miller: It usually depends on how I feel after the fight and it was a quick one this time and I didn’t suffer any injuries but it was the holidays so I took some extra time off and now I am back in gym helping my training partners get ready for their upcoming fights.
PDG: If everything goes well, how many fights would you like to have in 2011?
Jim Miller: As many as I can get but the bigger the fight, the more time that the UFC puts in between them. I would really like to be the main event or the co-main event at some point this year and those fights take time to put together. I was able to fight four times in 2010 because I fought in January and then in December with the two fights in between. It was an awesome year but it is unlikely that I would have that many fights again this year.
PDG: That about wraps it up, is there anything else that you wanted to add?
Jim Miller: I just want to thank my family, my training partners and my coaches. Like I said earlier, I had a real good 2010 and it was because of the people that I have been able to surround myself with and so I wish them all the best going forward.
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