LAS VEGAS – With over 50 professional MMA fights, Jim Miller has been through it all, which has brought a level of comfort few have in this sport.
That’s why when the UFC called with Jared Gordon as a replacement opponent for Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 45, Miller (35-17 MMA, 24-16 UFC) had no problem saying yes. At this point, there’s little the UFC lightweight veteran hasn’t seen, and he expects to be ready Saturday.
“(It’s) business as usual,” Miller told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN 45 news conference. “That’s three in a row that opponents drop out like two weeks or less for the event. And I think it’s a total of nine times in my career with the UFC, so more like 25 percent. But yeah, business as usual.
“I train to be the best fighter that I can be every out. At this point I’ve fought everybody from the top lanky 6’4” lefties, to guys my height, and righties and grapplers. So I just appreciated when guys are willing to step up because there are a lot of fighters that say ‘anytime, anywhere, anyone,’ and sometimes those guys don’t say yes. I’m appreciative that Jared hopped on here on two weeks notice.
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There was no chance Miller was going to say no to Gordon (19-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC). It’s not about Gordon’s style, either. Miller sees fighting from a personal standpoint. His opponent’s attributes and skills won’t determine whether he wants to fight or not.
“For me, it’s just been the opportunity to fight because what I’m really chasing, and what I’ve been chasing, is that perfect fight and any skillset that an opponent brings could be that one where I go out, and I’m like, ‘Hmm that was as close to perfect as we’re going to get,'” Miller said.
“So yeah, and I’m stubborn as hell, if you haven’t noticed that yet. … I could’ve waited for (Ludovit) Klein until mid-July but I had already put in a month of training and busted my butt and I didn’t want to have to do it for another two months.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 45.