When Jim Miller’s seven-fight win streak came to an end at the hands of former WEC champion Benson Henderson in August, it was clear that something was wrong with the New Jersey native.
As it turns out, the lightweight fighter was battling a kidney ailment that sapped him of his energy during the fight. Never the type to make excuses, Miller chose not to reveal his prior health problems until the week of his next bout against explosive striker Melvin Guillard.
Once the cage door shut in his bout with Guillard, Miller showed why he was always in title talk prior to the loss against Henderson. Guillard attacked repeatedly with flying knees and a barrage of strikes, even dropping Miller to the canvas at one point. But Miller persevered and exhibited why he’s never been finished in his career.
When Guillard again went for a flying knee, Miller took the fight to the ground and made quick work of him. An effortless transition to Guillard’s back led to the fight-ending rear-naked choke.
Back on the winning track, Miller’s next opponent needs to be another fighter who can put him back into title contention. While flashy fighters like Edson Barboza, Nate Diaz or Donald Cerrone may seem like good opponents, they’re hardly the caliber of fighter to test Miller.
Miller’s next opponent en route to a crack at the 155-pound title should be either the winner of the rumored Gray Maynard-Clay Guida fight (as Maynard is one of only three men to defeat Miller) or former lightweight champ Sean Sherk.
With doubts about Sherk’s health, the Maynard-Guida winner is the ideal matchup for the relentless Miller, as both fighters possess strong grappling that can test Miller’s will. A win over either of them would prove yet again that Miller is worthy of title talk in the lightweight division.