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Jim Miller on opponent change, 'There's still a guy in my way that wants to punch me in the face'

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No. 9 ranked UFC lightweight Jim Miller had no doubt that a 155 pounder that was 'scratching and clawing and trying make a name for themselves' would step up to replace the injured Bobby Green

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Miller was scheduled to meet Bobby Green on the pay per view portion of Saturday's UFC 172 fight card, but and injury forced Green to withdraw from the lightweight fight one week prior to the event. When the call went out for a replacement opponent, Yancy Medeiros stepped up.

Miller said that he saw the rumor of Green's injury floating around on Twitter, but he considered it just that - a rumor. A day or two after that rumor surfaced it became reality when Miller's manager Mike Constantino called him and told him that the No. 14 ranked Green was indeed out of the fight.

The No. 9 ranked Miller said he never doubted that someone would step up to face him at UFC 172, "This is the UFC, and somebody is going to step up," said Miller. "If it was two days before hand it would get a little tough, but having a solid week I was confident that they were going to get somebody."

The New Jersey based fighter also said he had a feeling that his opponent would not be a fighter ranked near the top of the division, "I didn't expect one of the top 15 or top 20 guys to jump at the chance because I think I've earned respect in this division and I think those guys are going to want a full training camp to fight me."

What he did expect was a lightweight who was "Scratching and clawing and trying to make a name for themselves." And that is what he got in Medeiros (9-1-0-1).

Medeiros saw a nine-fight winning streak end on April 27 of last year when his thumb was left hanging at unnatural angle during his UFC 159 fight against Rustam Khabilov. The injury forced the fight to be waved off at the midway point of the first round.

Medeiros followed that defeat with a first round knockout of Yves Edwards at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 in November. However, that win was later changed to a no contest when Medeiros tested positive for marijuana metabolites during his post-fight drug test.

Miller enters the fight with a 2-0-0-1 record in his last three fights including two Fight of the Night bonus winning performances.

When asked if the late opponent change made things difficult on him, Miller said, "I've had opponent changes quite a few time before in the past so, during camps I have always trained myself to try and be a better fighter. I really just work on myself. There's still a guy in my way that wants to punch me in the face, so I still have the same job to do."

UFC 172 will take place on Saturday, April 26 from the Baltimore Arena.