Jim Miller, 29-11 (1 NC), is a rugged, exciting and experienced veteran lightweight with 28 UFC bouts to his name. In an MMA career spanning 12 years he has defeated the likes of Joe Lauzon (twice), Charles Oliveira, Takanori Gomi, Thiago Alves and Gleison Tibau.
Here, speaking to Fighters Only contributor Tony Reid, the man from New Jersey reveals his five favourite fights from an illustrious MMA career.
1. Eddie Fyvie
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I have to think of my first fight. It was a hair-raising experience to step inside a ring for the first time. I’m not someone that gets into bar fights, so to go into a fight and commit to it, before any formal striking training, was scary. I had five different opponents but I ended up fighting a grappler. I fought Eddie Fyvie, who is really well known in the grappling world. I went out and had a good fight. It was weird. It was two, four-minute rounds in a six-sided ring. It was eight feet across. It was a phone booth with ropes. I never fought amateur. I did one grappling tournament then went straight into that fight.
2. Frankie Edgar
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It was the sixth fight for both of us. We knew the winner went to the UFC. We had a hell of a fight. I learned a lot from it. My gym closed down three weeks before the fight. I had four or five training partners. Two were 17-year-old kids who were brand new to jiu-jitsu; two were my buddies who were crazy and just liked getting beat up; the other was a 310lb purple belt. After that, I knew I needed to surround myself with a better team. We went out and scrapped. I got compliments from that fight for years. It’s unfortunate the video disappeared. It was a good fight.
3. Joe Lauzon
The first fight with Lauzon has to be on the list. It left its mark on the sport. It left its mark on him and it left its mark on me. We both have our scars and deformities from that fight. We were co-main event in a packed house. The hair is standing up on my arm just thinking about the roar between rounds. I knew it was something special, but it sucked. It was a tough camp. I had five weeks to prepare. I tore my shoulder the first day of camp. I tried to finish him in the first round. I thought, ‘Just keep leaning forward. He’s tired, too.’ Between the second and third round my trainer got in my face yelling and screaming at me. After the fight, he came over and grabbed me and I smacked him in the face. I said ‘Don’t you ever yell at me like that again.’ I was drunk off lactic acid. It took three showers to get all the blood out of my ears.
4. Fabricio Camoes
That was as close as I have come to fighting perfectly in a fight. That’s my goal every time I step out there. I want my fights to go so well that I don’t even break a sweat. I want to destroy the guy. It’s much easier to fight two months after a fight like that. It would have been nice to get the bonus after that one. I got hosed on that deal. That was as close as I have come to perfection.
5. Takanori Gomi
He’s a guy I was watching years before I started fighting. Just to share the Octagon and the opportunity with him was special. The Gomi I fought was not the Gomi that was number one in the world and destroying guys. I didn’t want to fight him on the downslide so that I could use him as a stepping stone and all that s**t. He left an impact on me. He is one of the reasons I got into the sport. It was an honor. I can almost guarantee he was injured going into that fight. When I had his back, he was grunting and groaning like he had a rib or back injury. It sucks but it was an honor to have the opportunity. That was probably the most emotional fight I have had to date.
*** This feature originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Fighters Only magazine ***