With just a day left until UFC 172, Jim Miller is a calm, relaxed fighting machine. Tomorrow night he will enter the Octagon for the 17th time when he faces off against Yancy Madeiros. At the ripe old age of 30, Jim has managed to have a pretty busy career, with 28 fights in total, yet has managed to keep himself healthy and active, and has replaced other injured fighters on a few occasions.
Now, Miller is looking to add another win to start the process of putting together another streak in hopes of getting the title shot that has eluded him for so long. In a recent interview with MMA Sentinel Radio, he reaffirmed his desire to get UFC gold, and gave a pretty detailed view on UFC bonus money. This broad range interview also covered the benefits he gets from training with his brother, his take on marijuana in sports and being satisfied with his fight style.
Win streaks & Title Shots
You know, I was on a seven fight win streak, but during that time, the rematches were dominating the title picture. I was just a kneebar away from being the fastest to 10 wins in UFC history. Unfortunately, that pace caught up with me. Fighting the toughest guys requires fight camps at the highest level and it takes a lot out of you. It really leaves its mark on you physically.
It all comes down to timing, and if I can put together another good string of wins, I think I will have earned it with the time I've been here, and for being ranked in the Top 10 for a couple years now. I just need to fight some of the guys that are ranked above me so I can move up the ladder. That's what I'd like to do, but I'm not looking past Yancy. I still have work to do on Saturday.
It's a fight with 4 ounce gloves, so anything can happen, and I'm taking it very seriously. It comes down to who is the better man that night and who implements their gameplan the best. It doesn't matter who's in front of me, they have opportunities and a chance to win, but I also have those opportunities...to beat them up and finish them, and that's what I'm looking for in every fight.
Training with Brother Dan
Dan is the perfect training partner, really. He's got no ego and doesn't care. When we roll and stuff like that, we're always trying to catch the other guy and stuff like that, but there is no ego in it. If he feels that he might hurt me, he'll let up on it and vice-versa. He's not going to do anything stupid if I get tired; he'll let me work through it.
He'll stand lefty for me and put his hands down if I'm fighting a guy that has the tendency to put his hands down. He will take more shots than he normally would if he were sparring in a way that he's more comfortable. It's good to have a couple training partners like that, the ones that will drop the ego and aren't so concerned with winning the round in a practice session when nobody is watching.
Oh man, I might end up going down a rabbit hole here [laughs]. I have no problem with it. If they want to make it legal, that's fine with me. The only reason it's considered a performance enhancer, I think, is that it actually can enhance performance. If it were legal, it's fine, because it would really be like caffeine or protein shakes, which help you. Thing is, it's not legal right now.
People smoke weed to help calm themselves down. It's used medically as an anti-inflammatory. Those two things right there could help a fighter in many different ways. If you're one of those guys that smokes after every training session, I guess it would only be like taking an Advil or something. It's just one of those things that's against the rules right now, so you shouldn't do it. I personally think they should legalize it, and tax the Hell out of it just like they do with booze or tobacco.
In my experience, the "pay bumps" I spoke of don't match up with a standard $50,000 performance bonus, even over the course of a year. I need to make it clear, I'm super grateful of every discretionary bonus that I've gotten, but like I said, it is a gift.
I got sub of the night and fight of the night in my first two fights. That money changed my life. I was in debt, in a tiny little house with my wife. We really wouldn't have been able to start a family without getting that extra-I think it was $70,000 for both fights-money. It made it so I could pay the closing costs when I sold the house and bought a new house that actually had some room to start a family.
Sometimes there's the speculation that we're getting paid more than our fight money or more than even the performance bonuses when we get those little pay bump discretionaries. It's totally not the case. I don't like speculation and assumptions. Again, it is a gift, and I appreciate it very, very much.
I have three kids and I'm the sole provider. Fighting is how I pay the bills. I don't make purchases based on the potential of winning a performance bonus or getting a discretionary bonus. I try to live under my show money.
Unfortunately, you don't always get 4 fights a year. Last year I only had two. You just have to focus on staying healthy to fight and winning. Anything else after that is just gravy, and you should put it away for your post fight career.
Fight Style Satisfaction
I can't change the way I fight and I don't want to. I don't want to just get by and eke out a decision. You'll never hear my corner say, ‘You won the first two, now just stay out of his way.' They know me, and they know I'm thinking if there's time on that clock, I'm trying to put this guy away. I go in there and I fight as hard as I can to win, and to win on my terms.
You can follow Jim via his Twitter account, @JimMiller_155