Miller enters title picture with win
Jim Miller became a lightweight title contender at UFC on FX 1. Just don't ask him for details.
"I don't remember much of it, to be honest," Miller said after his submission victory over Melvin Guillard in the main event at Bridgestone Arena on Friday. "I just kind of went into work mode. That first overhand (punch), I'm pretty sure he had broken his hand on my head. I really didn't feel it and I don't know how I got on his back."
Miller ended up atop Guillard later in the first round and did what he probably hopes he can to the elite fighters in the division.
"I was going to squeeze as hard as I could."
Miller now has to wait on the outcome of the Benson Henderson-Frankie Edgar lightweight title fight at UFC 144 on Feb. 26. Miller lost to Henderson, a former WEC titleholder, in August and may need a victory or two more to distinguish himself from other contenders like Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez and Gray Maynard.
"Frankie isn't in this category because he's No. 1, he's the champ," Guillard said. "Me and Jim Miller are the best two guys in this division. Guys don't want to fight us. We are the two guys people run away from. I know this because I have had other fights scheduled. I don't want to say the other guys' names. I don't know when my next fight will be, but I guarantee when (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva calls me tomorrow and says, 'We have a fight for you,' that name changes in a week."
Miller (21-3 overall, 10-2 in the UFC) was free with his praise of his opponent as well.
"Melvin is going to be a potential contender in this division (for some time)," Miller said. "He can beat anybody at lightweight on any given night, so it's good to have a win over him. I'm proud of myself to get hit and knocked down and still do what I had to do to get the victory."
The shot Miller took — an uppercut, which was preceded by a couple of quick knees — sent Miller to the mat and his night appeared seconds from ending.
"I thought I had Jim hurt," Guillard said. "He's very tough. I didn't want to overdo it and fatigue my arm, so tried to back off and reset and go back in again. I'm still having trouble figuring out how he caught my back."
Not long after Miller absorbed the punch, he had Guilllard (29-10-2 with one no-contest, 10-6 in the UFC) on the ground — a position from which the striker Guilllard has had issues in the past.
"It wasn't a problem," said Guillard, who switched camps to concentrate on jiu-jitsu after his loss to Lauzon. "I did everything right. I knew exactly how to shake him off my back. When he shook me, it collapsed my hip and I fell down. At that point, I tried to roll over to the other side. I was sticking to the basics of what I learned.
"Give me about a year. Be patient with me. I'll submit someone."
Miller didn't want to handicap his future too much, although he lobbied for Silva and other UFC officials to take a look at his complete resume.
"Hopefully, my wins before this fight don't go away," Miller said.