Fight Night 201: Jim Miller ready for debutant Motta as UFC record looms

Miller broke the record for most UFC appearances in his 38th outing last October and now stands a chance to equal the record for most wins in the company’s history on Sunday.

Published : Feb 18, 2022 11:32 IST

UFC legend Jim Miller set to return to the Octagon at Fight Night 201 against debutant Nikolas Motta on Sunday.
UFC legend Jim Miller set to return to the Octagon at Fight Night 201 against debutant Nikolas Motta on Sunday.

UFC legend Jim Miller set to return to the Octagon at Fight Night 201 against debutant Nikolas Motta on Sunday.

UFC legend Jim Miller is all set to return to the Octagon at Fight Night 201 against debutant Nikolas Motta after a record-breaking run during his last bout in October.

Miller broke the record for most UFC appearances across all divisions in his 38th outing and made light work of his opponent, Erick Gonzalez with a dashing KO finish in the second round. And ahead of Sunday's clash, the lightweight warrior stands within striking distance of equaling Donald Cerrone for most wins in UFC history (23).

Reflecting on his 13-year long career, Miller said: "It's cool to be in such an elite group. Every time I see the list of guys with over 20 wins, or the guys with over 30 fights, these are my peers that I am proud to be associated with. It's been a long road and it's been a long career and I'm hoping that I can come out and have a performance that makes a mark and shows really what I'm capable of."

"A-10" who made his UFC debut way back in 2008, was primed to clash with Motta in September but was ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 test, pushing the Brazilian's UFC debut by five months. Miller reckons he is ready for the bout, having already undergone the preparatory grind earlier last year for Motta.

"You know, I asked to fight around this time a few months ago. So I was working my way back into the gym, getting ready through the holidays. So it was about like five, six weeks (of training). It's been business as usual, just polish things up and get ready to go hard for 15 minutes," said Miller.


Despite a breezy win in his last fight, Miller's recent record is stacked against him after enduring three defeats in his last five fights. Miller has, however, shrugged off concerns over Motta who comes in with a 12-3 professional record - winning five of his previous six bouts. 

"No real changes for the camp for Nick (Motta). I'm a firm believer that you have to prepare to be your best when you're fighting. I'm cognizant of what his threats are. He's a power striker and throws a good lead hook, throws a good rear leg, round kick. But at the same time, while I'm preparing for that, I'm not solely preparing for those things. So if you throw something different into the mix, I'm ready for it. I work on getting into good shape and work on making sure that my weapons are at their best," Miller remarked. 

At 38, opportunities for a title shot and the main event spotlight have dwindled, but for Miller, the fire burns as bright as ever.

"I love the process. I love not only the fights - because that's a feeling that you can't get anywhere else - but like the process of training and getting into shape and dealing with the grind. That's the tough part but it's also super familiar. I love all the technical work as well, from grappling and wrestling to striking. 

It's not as easy at 38 as it was at 28 to deal with it and I've adapted the way that I train, and fortunately, I've got a fantastic group of people around me that have helped me survive the hard times. I feel like if I was at a different place and had a different group, I don't know if I would have made it out of those training sessions. I think it has been a key thing in my longevity here,” he said.

Miller, who represents a phenomenal body of work in the industry, believes his comeback from the verge of retirement was one of the most fulfilling moments of his career.

“I was very close to retirement back in 2016. I was going into my fight at UFC 196 with the plans to ask Joe Silva (former matchmaker) to allow me to fight at UFC 200 so I could retire. That's when I found out I had Lyme disease. It was a kind of a relief when I found out about it. It wasn't a short, easy road to get out of it. If I had to put up with Lyme disease while also fighting some of the baddest dudes on the planet and could inspire somebody to fight through tough times, then that's pretty cool,” he said.

"My goal is to be satisfied, and that's what I've always been trying to fight for, to be completely satisfied with my performance and I just haven't quite hit it yet,” Miller signed off.

Watch Jim Miller against Nikolas Motta in UFC Fight Night - Walker vs Hill LIVE on SONY TEN 3 & SONY TEN 3 HD channels on 20th February 2022 from 5:30 AM IST.

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