The two UFC lightweights square off at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night event in Atlantic City, New Jersey and many fans and pundits believe the two fighters’ styles match-up perfectly.
Speaking to both men ahead of their clash, it’s clear that they each agree with that assessment and are excited at the chance to finally compete against one another.
Miller (24-4, 1NC) said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a fight I’m excited about. This is a fight between two guys who’ve been ranked around each other for quite a while now and, bad timing, it just never happened before. We have styles that match up really well. Both of us are aggressive and we like to fight. So I’m excited for it. I’m excited to put on a performance.”
Cerrone (23-6, 1NC) agreed: “Stylistically, it’s going to be a good match. He’s got good wrestling and a good ground game; I’ve also got a good ground game. I’m very excited for this fight. I hope it unfolds the way everyone wants it to and it’s just a barnburner!”
Both Miller and Cerrone are riding impressive wins streaks heading into tomorrow’s main event showdown. Miller has secured two impressive finishes on the bounce, stopping both Yancy Medeiros and Fabricio Camoes via first round submission. Cerrone has scored three wins on the trot; submission wins over Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham, plus a brutal headkick knockout of Adriano Martins in January.
Although both Miller and Cerrone are prepared for the eventuality of their five round main event fight going the 25 minute distance, they each expect their trend of impressive finishes to continue.
Miller said: “I think it’s going to end very abruptly and violently. I think I’m going to catch his neck and I’m going to choke him.”
Cerrone added: “I’m going with a knockout. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m hoping to strike with him and finish him.”
Both men currently sit comfortably in the top 10 of the UFC’s official lightweight rankings, with Miller occupying the No. 7 slot and Cerrone one place above him in 6th.
A win for either man here would not only catapult them up the rankings but also push them into a potential No. 1 contendership fight against the highly rated Kabib Nurmagomedov later in the year.
Miller: “I’m pretty sure that the winner of this fight is getting Khabib. He’s asked for that fight. I think that’s a fight that would make sense for either one of us coming off a win in this fight. I think I match up very well with Khabib and that’s a fight I would really look forward to.”
Cerrone: “I think a win over Jim is going to lead to a fight with Khabib for the No. 1 contendership so I’m excited to get a win over Jim and I’m excited to get a win over Khabib and to reach that belt. Everyone seems scared of Khabib but he doesn’t scare me. I’m ready to punch him in the head but I’m focused on Jim for now.”
A win for Jim Miller tomorrow night would give him the most wins in UFC lightweight history with 14 and the 30-year-old from Sparta, New Jersey will be hoping to become a record breaker in front of his home state fans.
Miller said: “I’m going to have a lot of people there rooting for me, which is always good. I’ll certainly get a big boost of energy from the crowd when they cheer for me.”
“Cowboy” Cerrone, on the other hand, who says he “doesn’t care” if he’s booed by the Atlanta City crowd, is expecting to collect his 10th fight night bonus under the UFC banner with another exciting performance.
“I’m expecting that bonus. If this fight unfolds the way it’s supposed to, it’s one hundred per cent going to be ‘Fight of the Night’. It should be perfect.”
UK viewers can watch the UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller main card on BT Sport from 2am on Thursday morning.
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