Jim Miller is a man who hasn't tasted defeat on too many occasions. During his career he has faced some of the best lightweight fighters that the sport of mixed martial arts has to offer. Before he made his debut with the UFC way back in October of 2008, Miller was a fixture on the east coast MMA scene.
Miller fought for such organizations as Reality Fighting, Ring of Combat and even made an appearance for the IFL. During that time his record was an impressive 11-1 with the lone loss coming to current UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision. Miller began his UFC career by winning his first two fights and then he ran into perennial lightweight contender Gray Maynard at UFC 96; again he lost via unanimous decision.
After that loss Miller would go on to win his next seven fights against the likes of Mac Danzig, Duane Ludwig, Mark Bocek, Gleison Tibau, Charles Oliveira and Kamal Shalorus. He was inching closer and closer to a shot at a rematch with Edgar for the UFC lightweight title.
Then he ran into former WEC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. With only two losses on his record, Miller's memory of those defeats is embedded in his mind. He knew what went wrong in those bouts and he knew something was not right before he entered the cage against Henderson. Whether it was a problem warming up or getting his mind in the right place, Miller sensed something was wrong.
"I'm hungry, I hate to lose and I'm in this sport to perform at my best," said Miller in an exclusive interview with Fightline. "I didn't do that against Henderson. Win or lose it bugs me when I don't put on my best performance and I am eager to get back in the cage and redeem myself. I physically was prepared, but I felt a little off before the fight. I knew something wasn't right when I was warming up, I didn't have the energy that I normally have."
"It sucks, but my opinion is that you should be able to adapt and work around it and that is something I didn't do," Miller continued. "I didn't make the necessary adjustments that I needed to make against Henderson. When you are fighting the caliber of fighters that are in the UFC you need to be able to mix it up or change things when things aren't going your way, unfortunately I didn't do that."
Miller now has his eyes set on "The Young Assassin" Melvin Guillard who he will face this coming Friday in the main event of the first ever UFC on FX card in Nashville, TN. This is a classic striker vs. grappler bout with Guillard possessing some of the most powerful hands in the division while Miller and his brother Dan are accomplished wrestlers.
"I have a better grappling game than he does," offered Miller. "He is a very dangerous striker, he's not the most accurate striker in the division, but he's definitely proven that he hits hard. So I plan on using my strengths in grappling and submissions which seems to be his biggest areas of weakness."
Before the loss to Henderson, Miller had been on quite a tear, in fact if he had won that bout he would more than likely be the man facing Edgar in Japan next month for the UFC Lightweight title.
"We both are coming off of losses here, but a win over Melvin combined with the seven consecutive wins I had before the loss to Henderson should put me right back up there," Miller explained. "A win here should put me fighting in the big fights, fighting the other top guys in the division. Hopefully I am still close to getting a title shot."
Catch Miller-Guillard Friday night on FX when the main card starts at 9:00 PM EST. Other notable bouts on the card include Pat Barry vs. Christian Morecraft and Duane Ludwig vs. Josh Neer.
Get more great MMA news and analysis over at Fightline.