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Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010

Dan Miller Looking to Keep Momentum in 2011

By Kelsey Mowatt
Dan Miller headed into last weekend’s UFC 124 card unaware of what was in store for him, provided the New Jersey middleweight had lost to veteran Joe Doerksen. After arriving in the UFC in 2008, Miller quickly made his presence known with three consecutive wins; however, when matched up against some of the division’s more notable fighters in Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping, three decision losses followed. With a submission win over John Salter in August and a decision win over Doerksen now added to his resume, Miller knows he can start planning for his 2011 UFC campaign.
“It was alright,” Miller told FCF when asked to assess a year where he went 2-2 in the Octagon. “I wish I could have gotten a couple of wins at the beginning of the year, but it turned out pretty good. You know I’m still in the UFC; I’m coming off a couple of wins, so it’s not too bad.”
Miller’s thirteenth professional win did not come easy of course, as the 29 year-old-fighter had to grind out a hard fought victory over Doerksen, in a bout which one judge scored for the Canadian vet.
“I knew if I let it go to the judges there was a chance he could win on being the hometown fighter and judging being the way that it is,” said Miller. “You never know. He was extremely active; I wasn’t completely surprised but I thought I won the fight.”
The deciding factor in the bout ended up being Miller’s wrestling, as the former International Fight League champion was able to take Doerksen down and control the fight from the top position throughout much of the three round fight.
“We had talked about taking him down but it wasn’t really the game plan,” said Miller. “I was just going to go in there and fight my fight but it just happened that he presented takedowns. So I jumped on them.”
Despite being taken down, Doerksen continued to fight from his back with strikes and submission attempts, demonstrating a resiliency that didn’t surprise Miller at all.
“It was a phenomenal win for me,” Miller said while discussing where this win ranks in his career to date. “I think he’s one of the toughest fighters that I’ve fought. He’s a lot better fighter than his UFC record shows; he’s just been caught a few times in the UFC.”
While the UFC continues to run a busy fight card schedule, there are only so many spots available, so most fighters have to remain injury free and catch a few breaks if they’re to fight four times in one year. Miller was able to compete in February, May, August and December this past year and is hoping to maintain that kind of schedule in 2011.
“I loved it; I wish I could have four fights every year,” Miller said. “I think it’s a perfect opportunity every three months to keep making money and stay active. I think it’s great but I know it’s going to be tough too. With the UFC coming in with a lot more fighters and I don’t know how many more shows they’re going to have to put on to get people their fights.”
With back-to-back victories and momentum on his side, Miller is hoping to climb up the middleweight rankings in 2011.
“I want to be at the top of the division,” said Miller, when asked where he hopes to be this time next year. “I just need to get a couple more wins in a row against some quality fighters. I just need to work on everything, make improvements in my game everywhere and keep training hard.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:44 pm
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