UFC 128 Fight Card: Is Jim Miller Next in Line for Shot at the 155-Pound Title?

Liam WardContributor IMarch 10, 2011

UFC lightweight contender Jim Miller has been on a pretty respectable tear in the 155-pound division since being dominated by Gray Maynard in 2009. He is currently on a six-fight winning streak, stringing together victories over tough opposition, yet he continues to fly under most people's radars.

This is probably due to the fact that Miller, although not terribly boring, isn’t exactly a perennial "Fight of the Night" candidate. One could argue that Miller’s workmanlike victories in the cage have allowed less deserving (albeit more exciting) fighters to jump ahead of him in the title picture. In my opinion, Miller's situation is similar to the one that top welterweight contender, Jon Fitch, currently faces.

Many fans speculated that if George Sotiropoulos and Miller both won their respective bouts against Dennis Siver and Kamal Shalorus, the two dark-horse grapplers would be matched in a fight to determine the No. 1 contender.

However, since the Australian surprisingly lost against Siver, many people are not sure what is next for Jim Miller (assuming that he wins his upcoming match against Shalorus). In my opinion, the best possible opponent for Miller (if he wins) would be the winner of the upcoming fight between Clay Guida and former WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis.

The only problem concerning that idea would be the fact that the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III would have to wait longer to defend their title. Moreover, inactivity is always a concern in this sport, especially when training injuries can put a fighter on the sidelines for a matter of months. Of course, there are other options.

Melvin Guillard looked very good against hot prospect Evan Dunham, and it appears that matchup could potentially favour Miller; Guillard is known for struggling against very good grapplers who can keep him on his back and hold him down. On the other hand, a matchup against Sean Sherk is an intriguing prospect to consider, although many reports indicate that Sherk will not make his return until summer due to an injury.

Overall, the current scenario in the UFC lightweight division indicates that if Jim Miller wants his shot at the title, he will have to carry on winning fights in an impressive manner.