Jim Miller Talks Henderson, Zuffa’s Strikeforce Purchase & More!
By Dave Carpinello
On August 14, 2011 Jim Miller will face Ben Henderson in a #1 contender match-up at UFC Live on Versus 5 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. PunchDrunkGamer recently talked with lightweight title contender Jim Miller about his upcoming fight, riding a seven fight win streak, the Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce, bigger rosters and AMA Fight Club.
PDG: What are your thoughts on your next opponent, Ben Henderson at UFC Live on Versus 5?
Jim Miller: Ben looked good in his last fight (defeated Mark Bocek) and he is going to be tough to submit because he never slows down during the fight. I am excited for a tough fight against someone that is going to challenge me.
PDG: Going into this fight do have a preference whether it takes place on the ground or if it is a stand-up battle?
Jim Miller: Not really, I have been submitting just about everyone that I fight and whether we are on the mat or standing I am going to be looking for something. I think that I hold an advantage in the grappling department and I am going to use that to push the pace in this fight. I will keep the pressure on just like in any of my other fights.
PDG: So you are going to be looking for your third ‘Submission of the Night’ award?
Jim Miller: Yeah hopefully and maybe it will be a good one like the $129,000 handed out at UFC 129.
PDG: You are on a seven fight win streak in the UFC; how do keep the focus and not get complacent on such a long winning streak?
Jim Miller: I am trying to be the best fighter that I can and I learn something new every time that I step into the cage. I take that same approach at training and I try to learn something new everyday in the gym. I really enjoy what I am doing so it is easy to stay focused and train my ass off.
PDG: Out of those last seven fights, which one was the most challenging?
Jim Miller: I would have to say that my fight with Mark Bocek was the toughest and definitely the closest fight out of the seven. I knew going into that fight that he was stylistically going to be a tough match-up for me. He was able to slow my pace and being under the weather a little did help my cause either. I was puking before and after that fight and it sucked.
PDG: Last time we talked, we touched a bit on how Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg seem stunned every time you leave the cage victorious. Was their reaction the same after you defeated Kamal Shalorus via TKO at UFC 128?
Jim Miller: I doubt it but that makes it interesting and they can say what they want to, it honestly has no effect on me either way. Anyone can say whatever they want and it still isn’t going to impact the outcome of the fight.
PDG: What did you think when you first heard the news that the UFC (Zuffa) had purchased Strikeforce?
Jim Miller: I thought it was very interesting and that it would make for a lot more match-up possibilities between the two promotions and there is no doubt now that Zuffa has the best fighters in the world under contract. As a fighter it kind of sucks to see the competition paywise between the two go away but once they start having cross-over fights or simply dissolve Strikeforce there are going to be some great fights to determine who the greatest in the world is
PDG: What potential match-ups for you came to mind?
Jim Miller: Definitely Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki. They are two very tough fighters and both are in the Top 10 in my weight class and I have a lot of respect for both of them and I would love to fight either one.
PDG: Your brother Dan recently had a child, how is your new niece doing and when can fans expect to see Dan back in the cage?
Jim Miller: Everyone is doing great thanks! He is definitely itching to get back in the cage but as of now he doesn’t have a fight set. There are just so many fighters under contract right now that we don’t get the opportunity to be as active now as we were in the past.
PDG: What did you think of his performance against Nate Marquardt?
Jim Miller: I thought he fought well given the circumstances and he went out there and almost finished the fight a couple of times. Marquardt did a good job controlling the stand-up and the takedowns but Dan was never really in any danger of being finished in that fight. I think Dan was the more threatening fighter in the fight and he had more opportunities to finish and I would like to see him be more aggressive in those situations but that’s how it goes. It was a good fight that Dan could have won that night and if they fight again Dan will get his chance.
PDG: You mentioned inactivity due to the large UFC roster; does that worry you at all coming off of 2009 (three fights) and then 2010 (four fights)?
Jim Miller: I wouldn’t say worried but I do enjoy fighting and the training/preparation that is involved with the sport. I just really like stepping into that octagon, it’s exciting so the more that I can do it the better but it is going to be tougher to get fights with the Strikeforce purchase and not to mention all of the WEC fighters that are now on the roster. On a brighter note with all of the fighters the UFC will be able to hold bigger events and more frequent ones for that matter. The sport and the UFC is growing so we will just see where it goes and I am happy with any opportunity that I get to fight.
PDG: Speaking of your preparation, what kind of training are you doing now and when will you start your fight camp for Ben Henderson?
Jim Miller: I have been working on my weight training, striking and training with the other guys on my team here and there. I have also been taking it easy and trying to get some work done around the house. It is nice to have a little break so that my body can heal and I don’t get rundown. I was a little banged up going into my last fight so it is good to let those nagging little injures heal up. My camp for Henderson will get under way this summer.
PDG: You have had some new additions to the AMA Fight Club including Jamie Varner; how are they fitting in?
Jim Miller: It is great, the more training partners and fighters the better. I haven’t gotten a whole lot of time to work with Varner yet but he seems like a nice guy. The gym is growing and that is great, more competition every time I step on the mat.
PDG: Thanks for taking the time and good luck in August. Is there anything else you wanted to add?
Jim Miller: No problem, just a big thanks to my family, AMA Fight Club and all of the fans… I will see you in August!
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