Exclusive: Jim Miller Discusses Joe Lauzon, Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone & Edgar vs. Aldo
UFC lightweight Jim Miller has faced a who’s who of the best UFC lightweights. At 22-4 his only losses are to former UFC #1 lightweight contender Gray Maynard, former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, former UFC #1 Lightweight contender Nate Diaz and current UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. Diaz is the only one of the four who was able to finish Miller submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke.
Miller’s last bout may have been his most exciting to date when he took on Joe Lauzon at UFC 155. The New Jersey native busted Lauzon open early on in the first round causing Lauzon to lose an insane amount of blood. In fact after the fight was through it took 40 stitches to close the wound on Lauzon’s face. Somehow, some way Lauzon soldiered on and made a fight of it despite nearly being finished. In fact, the 28-year-old Massachusetts native nearly stole the fight at the end of the third round with a flying heel hook.
The UFC awarded the two warriors a $65,000 bonus for their Fight of the Night performance. Many fans and pundits believe it was the fight of the year and the UFC’s official website actually bestowed that very honor, deservedly so. Most fighters would rather end their bouts as quickly as possible and avoid absorbing any punishment, Miller included. But that’s not to say Miller doesn’t appreciate being part of what will go down as one of the best fights of all time. Fans at home were questioning how Lauzon was still going, but Miller never had time to think about any of that.
“I am feeling good, I’m a little lumped up including a soft spot on my shin and I feel like a weenie complaining about it, but my elbow is a little bit sore,” Miller told BJPenn.Com Radio. “Any fight even if it’s a short one, there’s so much intensity and emotion involved, you’re able to go deeper in the tank than you do in practice. That’s the most tired I’ve ever felt at the end of a fight.”
“To be honest I haven’t watched the fight yet so I didn’t realize (The blood loss) while it was going on. It’s just one of those things, he was still standing so I was still going after him. It never really crossed my mind, I didn’t think to myself, anyone else would’ve been on the ground by now. You just don’t think about those types of things.”
With 26 career fights on his resume, Miller has been part of some tremendous bouts. He has fought for the UFC 14 times and taken home two Fight of the Night and three Submission of the Night bonuses. None of them were more enthralling than his war with Lauzon. With the way the fight went down and how excited the fans were a rematch somewhere down the line has to be something Miller has considered.
“I guess it’s one of those fights that definitely had a lot of impact on the fans and everything, it was cool to be a part of,” said Miller. “Honestly I’m looking to finish guys and put them away quick. I’ve been in tough fights before and I know I can do it so I don’t need to go through it again! I wanted to finish him and it just didn’t happen. He’s a tough, talented guy, as far as fighting him again; neither of us is going anywhere. It could happen sometime in the next couple of years. I’m not a big fan of having rematches right away, but we’re both going to be sticking around the top of this division for awhile so I’m sure it’ll happen again.”
Being at or near the top of the lightweight division for some time now, Miller was an interested observer for last Saturday night’s showdown between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6. Just like everyone else, Miller came away from that fight impressed with “Showtime’s” performance.
“Yeah I did get a chance to watch the fight,” Miller said. “Pettis looked great, that was a beautiful body shot, and I’m a big fan of liver kicks and liver shots so that was nice.”
Tomorrow night the first man to ever defeat Miller, Frankie Edgar will make his debut as a featherweight at UFC 156 in Las Vegas. Edgar is jumping right into the shark tank as he will challenge longtime WEC & UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo in an attempt to become the third man in UFC history to capture titles in two different weight classes. Some have questioned whether or not it is a mistake for Edgar to go right after Aldo considering he has never made the cut to 145.
“I personally don’t feel like he’ll feel anything different down there, if he was cutting to 135 then I think he should’ve gotten in there and mixed it up once before taking on the champ,” Miller offered. “45 should be pretty easy for him, it’s going to be a great fight, and it’s a great match-up. I think Frankie is going to pose more problems for Aldo than anyone else he’s fought recently. Aldo has a lot of weapons that are going to be good to use against Frankie including those leg kicks. You could see it kind of going that way almost like he did to Uriah, just destroying that front leg. Frankie’s game is based on movement and being a mobile fighter if he takes a good amount of those leg kicks then his game plan kind of goes to the wayside. It’ll be fun to watch, and I’ll be watching this one as a fan.”