Fighting for Respect, Miller Derails Oliveira

By Mike Whitman Dec 12, 2010
Jim Miller just can’t get any respect.

That may change soon, however, as the New Jersey native added another win to his streak Saturday night at UFC 124, finishing previously unbeaten up-and-comer Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira with a kneebar in the first round of their lightweight contest.

The victory, which garnered “Submission of the Night” honors, was Miller’s sixth straight. His only loss inside the Octagon came to current top contender Gray Maynard in March 2009, and the only other defeat on his ledger came courtesy of UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in 2006.

“Coming into this fight, I was trying to gain a little respect, to be honest. [Oliveira] was the favorite, and I didn’t understand that. I’m 7-1 in the UFC, and my only losses are to guys who are number one and number two in the division,” said Miller. “He’s got a big future ahead of him, but I’ve got wins over two guys on this card [Mac Danzig and Mark Bocek] who are coming away with bonuses. I was trying to leave my mark and do what I’m capable of doing.”

Miller took the fight to the floor early, putting Oliveira on his back and working ground-and-pound. During a scramble, Oliveira looked for a leg lock, grapevining his wiry frame around Miller’s lower body. The Brazilian left his own leg unattended, though, and Miller gave up top position to dive for a leg lock of his own.

“He was keeping me a little off balance, but I’ve fought a lot stronger guys than he was,” said Miller. “When I stood up, the leg presented itself, and I just went for it. I don’t really care where fight goes, so if I missed it, I missed it. I attacked the toe hold, and he didn’t worry about his knee. I probably had a big grin on my face when I went for [the kneebar].”

After racking up a resume as impressive as Miller’s, it would be hard to argue against the AMA Fight Club product receiving a title shot, or at least a bout against a top contender. When the twice-beaten fighter was asked whether he was frustrated at being left out of marquee matchups, Miller didn’t mince words.

“A little bit. I’m not going to lie. It does eat at me a little. I’ve done nothing to show I shouldn’t be number three. I’ve beaten all other comers,” he said. “I want my shot at revenge [against Edgar and Maynard]. Even being friends with Frankie, I want to fight him.”
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