COMMENTARY | UFC lightweight Jim Miller was poised to secure a title shot in 2011, but Benson Henderson ruined his plans. Henderson went on to win the UFC's lightweight title shortly after, while Miller has been battling with adversity ever since.
Jim rebounded off the devastating loss to Henderson with a win against Melvin Guillard at "UFC on FX 1," and he was rewarded with another number-one contender bout. However, Miller ended up losing to Nate Diaz at "UFC on Fox 3," knocking him down the rankings once again.
Refusing to give up on his title aspirations, Miller vows to work his way back into contention, starting with a dominant performance against Joe Lauzon at UFC 155.
"I want to beat him up and be dominant from bell to bell," Miller said during an interview with MMAJunkie.com Radio. "I try to be my own biggest critic and really push myself. … That's the plan: Beat him as dominantly as I can, take another big one and put somebody else away."
Lauzon was originally scheduled to face Gray Maynard at UFC 155, but "The Bully" pulled out of the fight after suffering a knee injury.
UFC 155 is set for Dec. 29, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Given the fact Miller has lost two of his last three bouts, his fight against Lauzon is certainly a must-win situation if he wants to get back in the title conversation anytime soon. Jim's win against Guillard wasn't particularly impressive either, considering the fact the latter was getting the better of the exchanges early in their encounter before he decided to start throwing flying-knees against a solid wrestler.
If Melvin was a bit more composed at UFC on FX 1, Miller would probably be on a three-fight losing streak right now. Miller is aware of the fact that he didn't perform to his true potential during his last few outings, and he hopes a dominant win against Lauzon will get him back on track.
He'll have his work cut out for him though.
Lauzon is coming off an impressive performance against Jamie Varner, and like Miller, he's also trying to move a step closer to the UFC's lightweight title. Lauzon is well-rounded MMA veteran with decent striking and smooth submissions, and he's skilled enough to upset Miller at UFC 155.
Fortunately for Miller, Lauzon had a hard time stopping takedowns during the final round of his last outing against Varner, a weakness he should be able to exploit. Miller is a better wrestler than Varner, so he should be able to dominate Lauzon with his wrestling at UFC 155.
Skill wise, Miller is still one of the top fighters in the UFC's lightweight division, but it's hard to tell how much his recent struggles have affected him mentally. However, Miller seems to be keeping everything in perspective, realizing that at the end of the day, there's really no shame in losing to fighters like Henderson and Diaz.
"It shows me where I am - I know I can beat any of these guys who have beaten me, and could've beaten them that night had I gotten off a little bit sooner, or had the momentum not gone their way," Miller explained. "It comes down to little things, and it makes me know I can beat anyone in the world and be the champion. … I know where I am and know where I am because the guys who have been able to beat me are at the top."
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