Why Jim Miller and his ilk are the lifeblood of MMA

LAS VEGAS — Men like Jim Miller are why combined martial arts has actually ended up being so popular. Yeah, UFC fighters like Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, Francis Ngannou and Nate Diaz are the huge names, bring in the most headings and make the most cash, however it’s the rank-and-file people who are the heart of the promo.

They’re people who concern battle each time out, who aim to end up, who look for the most hard difficulties, and who consistently compromise their bodies for our pleasure.

Miller is never ever going to be thought about an all-time terrific skill, however make no error: He’s an all-time terrific.

How else could one explain a fighter who on Saturday versus Erick Gonzalez at Pinnacle on the primary card of UFC Vegas 40 will set the UFC record for the majority of bouts with 38? Or how do you explain a fighter who leads the promo with 45 submissions efforts and leads all lightweights in battles (35), wins (19), submissions (9) and overall battle time (5:51:47)?

The only method Miller accentuates himself is by his efficiency in the cage. He’s disappointing up on the criminal activity blotter. He’s not producing headings by grumbling about pay, or title shots, or ranking, or needing to do excessive media.

Miller’s name is cluttered throughout the record books, however you nearly need to plead him to get him to discuss it.

“I don’t really care too much about the numbers,” he stated. “I’ll step into the lead again for most fights in the UFC, but it’s kind of arbitrary to me. I feel like I’d be in the mid-40s if I could have been fighting as often as I wanted to. I’ve had a few layoffs that weren’t up to me that were like six-to-eight months. I was like, ‘Man, I could have fought two times in that period.’ It’s cool, and I want to get to 40 [fights] in the UFC and I think that’ll be pretty easy to get to, but the total numbers aren’t a huge thing I’m worried about.”

Miller, 38, is 32-16 total in mixed martial arts and is 22-15 in the UFC. He won his very first 2 UFC battles in 2008, winning Submission of the Night in his launching and Battle of the Night in his 2nd trip.

He started his UFC profession 9-1, however never ever got a title shot. He was close, however losses to Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz in a three-fight period in 2011-12 expense him his finest opportunity.

He’s never ever grumbled and simply set about his work as an expert each time he signs on the dotted line.

He’s likewise battled the very best of the very best. In addition to Diaz and Henderson, he’s dealt with the similarity Donald Cerrone, Dustin Poirier, Diego Sanchez, Joe Lauzon, Thiago Alves, Anthony Pettis, Dan Hooker, Charles Oliveira, Gray Maynard, Beneil Dariush, Michael Chiesa, Takanori Gomi and others.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 15: (R-L) Jim Miller kicks Vinc Pichel in their lightweight bout during the UFC 252 event at UFC APEX on August 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Jim Miller kicks Vinc Pichel in their light-weight bout throughout UFC 252 at UFC PEAK on Aug. 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Picture by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

He’s dealt with Oliveira — the ruling UFC light-weight champ — two times. He’s likewise fulfilled Lauzon two times.

He’s been through the ringer and never ever gotten it simple, however he slogs ahead, wanting to much better himself and never ever quiting on the chance to combat for the belt one day.

However he understands he can’t battle permanently, and understands the day he’ll need to leave is coming quicker instead of later on. He doesn’t harp on it and keeps himself in the very best possible shape to lengthen his window.

“I feel like some of my peers have a tough time dealing with it and they don’t like to talk about retirement,” Miller stated. “After having gone through [Lyme disease] knowing I couldn’t compete feeling the way that I was, and finally getting back to it and being able to train again, I have a mature attitude toward it. I’m OK thinking about it. I’m OK talking about it.

“It’s necessary. I’m not going to be able to fight until I’m 80. So I know there’s going to be a change in my life, and that’s OK. It’s not a sign of quitting, or a sign of weakness like some people think it is, to talk about retirement. I have four kids and I’m the provider for our household. There is a lot of responsibility and so I realize it’s OK to think about it and plan for it.”

Therefore he does his thing, as he has for more than 13 years now, making himself into among the much better fighters on the planet for all of that time.

He is all set for the Gonzalez battle, and if his history is an indicator, he’ll remain in the running for a battle night perk once again.

Simply don’t anticipate to hear Miller boasting about himself, or grumbling about whatever has actually occurred to him along the method.

It’s not his design.

He’s the sort of person who has actually assisted make this sport so fascinating to numerous, and the good news is, he’s never ever going to alter.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.