Jim Miller On Melvin Guillard: “We’re The Two Most Dangerous Guys In The Division”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Another busy year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship has begun, and due to the sport’s growth, there are increasingly more high profile opportunities for the promotion’s established contenders. Case in point, lightweight veterans Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard, who despite the fact they’re both coming off defeats, will square off against one another in the main event of this Friday’s UFC on FX card.
“It’s great,” said Miller, while discussing the fact that the pivotal bout will be showcased for fans on the FOX owned network. “Although we’re coming off losses, in my mind we’re the two most dangerous guys in the division. When guys talk to Joe Silva on the phone, the last two names they want to here is Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard. We’re both still dangerous guys that are going to put on a show.”
While in the past, contenders like Miller and Guillard may not have been inserted into a main event coming off losses, due to each man’s recent successes, they remain very much a presence at the top of the lightweight division. Prior to his submission loss to Joe Lauzon in October, Guillard had won five straight fights. Milller, on the other hand, had worked his way up the rankings with seven straight victories, before losing by unanimous decision to Ben Henderson in August.
“I think sometimes in our sport it gets away from everybody that when we go out there and fight, there are any number of things that can happen,” Miller told FCF. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given night, and sometimes when something happens, people write that off as that’s what’s going to happen anytime that guy fights, which is definitely not the case…we’ve seen it in recent history with quick knockouts. Just because something happens, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.”
While there was considerable speculation in October, as to whether Guillard would advance to a title shot provided he had defeated Lauzon, Miller appeared to be a lock for a rematch with Frankie Edgar if he had won versus Henderson. In the end, of course, Miller came up short against the former WEC champ, who is now scheduled to fight Edgar for the UFC title February 25th.
“It was a tough one because I had prepared very well for the fight; I was mentally ready, but physically I didn’t show up that night,” said Miller about the UFC Live 5 bout with Henderson. “I kind of knew it. When I was warming up I felt off. When I stepped into the Octagon I definitely knew something was wrong. I didn’t have that rush of energy that I usually have.”
“After the fight I knew that I had put in every ounce of energy that I had,” Miller added. “But as the weeks went by I was a little bit more pissed at myself for fighting as aggressively and as fast paced as I did. I kind of knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with it.”
In Guillard, Miller will face one of the division’s most feared strikers, who has recorded three memorable stoppages in three of his last five wins. While the Greg Jackson trained fighter has produced many highlight reel moments during his UFC tenure, Guillard’s last five defeats have come way of submission.
“He’s a dangerous opponent; he’s proven that,” the BJJ black belt said about Guillard.. “He’s also shown some weaknesses where I have strengths. It’s going to be a good fight, and it’s probably going to be one of those fights that doesn’t go the distance.”
“He’s got good wrestling; he really does,” Miller added when asked to evaluate Guillard’s takedown defense. “He’s a tough fight; he’s got skills and is a very explosive guy.”
Friday’s UFC on FX card will be hosted by Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.