Exclusive (Part2) | Jim Miller: Nate Diaz Is A Tough Fight For Anyone, Gives Benson Edge Over Melendez | UFC NEWS
To check out part one of our exclusive interview with Jim Miller click here:
This past week it was announced that Jim Miller would be facing 45 fight veteran Pat Healy at UFC 159 in April in front of his friends and family at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Healy is riding a six fight winning streak and could come into the fight with a chip on his shoulder due to the fact that Gilbert Melendez pulled out of their Strikeforce Lightweight Championship bout on two separate occasions.
“I’m excited, he’s a pretty tough kid and while there are downsides to Strikeforce folding the opportunity to fight some of the guys who have been over there is exciting for me,” Miller told BJPenn.Com Radio. “I can’t wait to see how everything shakes out. As far as him having any anger that’s for him to deal with, things happen. It’s tough that his shot at the title was taken away from him, but he’s in a new place and he’s go to put the work back in. Me personally, I wouldn’t be thinking about that stuff.
Jim’s brother Dan has been with the UFC since 2008 competing as a middleweight until making the drop to 170 for the first time against Ricardo Funch last June. Dan was able to choke Funch out in the 3rd round and took home the Submission of the Night in front of his hometown fans. Dan has been out of action since because his young son Daniel underwent successful kidney transplant surgery in September. Dan is preparing to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 158 against Canadian Jordan Mein on March 16 in Montreal. Jim is ready to see his brother back in action and is also confident his nephew is well on the road to recovery.
“I’m excited for Dan’s fight, Jordan is a very dangerous opponent who has looked great in his last few fights,” said the younger of the two Miller Brothers. “It’s going to be a good fight; Dan doesn’t get any easy fights. Up at 85 he went up against a murderer’s row and his first fight at 70 was against a guy who had his back to the wall. Dan has skills to beat anybody, if he fights to his potential and uses all his tools I think he’s definitely going to open some eyes and walk his way to the top of the division at 170.”
“Danny Jr. is doing great, some of his blood levels are a little bit lower than they wanted, but other than that he’s doing fantastic. Developmentally he’s making so many strides, he started talking out of the blue and he’s so quick, he picks things up so easily. It’s amazing; he is such a resilient kid. He’s also starting to move around a little bit more and trying to crawl. He’s always had problems with that because when he had his own kidneys in they were so large. It was a big hurdle to get over and he’s going to have a lot more hurdles to deal with the rest of his life, but this was the big one. It was great for him to get over it and the support from the fans and everyone in MMA was amazing.”
This week a very interesting match-up was announced pitting former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson vs. Nate Diaz on the UFC on Fox 7 card in San Jose April 20. Miller of course has firsthand knowledge of how Diaz can perform and is excited to see these two mix it up.
“Nate is tough as hell and is one of those guys you have to fight perfect,” said Miller. “Ben never gave him an opportunity to gain any momentum and that’s where I failed. It’ll be a tough fight for Josh, he’s got to come in and fight totally clean. He has to keep the pressure on him and I think Josh can do it. It’s tough to do, Nate throws those long straight punches and you can’t give him any opportunities. He’s a really tough fight for anybody.”
The main event of UFC on Fox 7 will be a champion vs. champion bout as UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson will attempt to defend his title for the third time against Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez. El Nino has been considered by many to be the top lightweight in the world and now he has the opportunity to prove it. Having fought Henderson, Miller knows what Melendez will be facing and he sees the belt staying right where it has been since February of 2012.
“I don’t know that’s a tough fight,” offered the former Cage Fury Fighting Championships Lightweight Champion. “The way Henderson has looked I think he has the edge. He’s really proved a lot in his last couple of fights so I have to go with Ben. Gil is a tough fight for anyone so it’ll be a good fight.”