Jim Miller has a shot at making history at UFC 276, but don’t expect him to start touting records and screaming numbers after defeating Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone on Saturday.
Currently tied with Cerrone and Andrey Arlovski for the most wins in UFC history (23), Miller may separate himself from the crowd with a win, but as much as he appreciates the accolades, the reputation he has earned as a fighter who always excelled when whatever he was. called for more questions.
“Be that guy [means more]” Miller said. Fighter against the Writer. “The numbers are great. They are nothing I hang my hat on. At the moment, it mostly comes down to attrition. I’m just holding on. But the fact is, there are a lot of wins, a lot of great performances, a lot of great fights that created those numbers and created the opportunity to get those numbers.
“It’s not just about 40 UFC fights or 23 or 24 wins, this or that. It’s just wrestling because I fell in love with the sport, because the guys wanted to fight and they wanted to fight with all their might. This is really what intrigued me. Not Twitter. That’s not what got me into MMA. I try to be the guy who influenced me to get into MMA.”
At 38 years old, Miller has experienced many ups and downs, including Lyme disease, which could easily have taken away his fighting career.
Despite this, Miller has remained incredibly consistent, with at least two fights a year since his UFC debut in 2008.
Although he never claimed a title during his historic run in the UFC, Miller outlived every champion who held the belt when he first appeared in the octagon. To put this in even greater context, Miller’s first fight in the UFC took place before the featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight divisions appeared in the promotion, and women began competing in the organization only four years after his debut.
“There’s definitely a lot of luck here,” Miller said of his longevity. “I was probably very close to some injuries that could have shortened my career, but I also tried to be smart about it and train hard, but train smart.
“A lot of times, fighters, we become victims of our own egos, like it’s sparring day and I have to work my hardest. I need to show these guys what’s going on. I need to push because everyone else is doing it.”
According to Miller, opening his own gym in 2014 was probably the moment that likely saved his career because he was finally able to train the way he needed to keep fighting for years to come.
Instead of constantly exhausting his body, the New Jersey native began taking days off when he needed to, as well as reducing the intensity of his workouts when he just wasn’t feeling good on a particular day.
“It resulted in me not fighting that ego or those voices that were trying to help, but I was physically unable to do it that day,” Miller explained. “It’s crazy to think about it.
“Because it’s not just 40 fights. In fact, this is 320 weeks (over six years) of fight camp. A lot of time goes into real fights in the gym to get to those 40 fights. This comes with a lot of risk. That’s a lot of potential trauma that I’ve been through relatively unscathed.”
At UFC 276, Miller will face Cerrone in a rematch eight years after they first met in 2014.
That night, Cerrone landed a headbutt on Miller, ending the fight in the second round, which came in the middle of a long winning streak that would eventually lead to a lightweight title shot.
Miller has been enjoying a career resurgence of late with back-to-back knockout wins, while Cerrone has openly stated that he only has two fights left in his career as he looks to bounce back from a 0-5 streak with one no fight in his last six. walks.
None of this matters much to Miller, who actually moved up in weight in just over a week after his original opponent, Bobby Green, was forced off the card. Once again, Miller is just doing what he always does – stepping up when the UFC needs him, although revenge will be pretty sweet for him in a rematch.
“The fight from years ago is already eight years ago, I feel like I could have won,” Miller said. “He got the better of me. I prepared well for that headbutt but we were still young, we were in our early 30s, we were in our prime and I feel like I was able to hold it a little better given my recent fights and considering him.
“So I’m going to go there and land. When I do that, I feel confident that I’m going to hide it.”