Beyond the Fight: Guillard vs. Miller

Dad’s Influence

By Jack Encarnacao Jan 20, 2012
Jim Miller admits his father has a profound impact on him. | Photo:

‘He was kind of cartoonish when we were kids.’

“He used to get fired up at wrestling matches when refs would make bad calls and stuff like that. He was that dad, you know, [shouting], ‘Ref! How can you suck and blow at the same time?’ The funny thing was, though, he would get upset whenever we were wrestling, but if the ref was, like, seriously still making bad calls when somebody else was wrestling, when it wasn’t event one of our teammates, he would get even more mad and let it out even more. I think it was him letting it out because he didn’t want to come across as such a big a--hole when we were wrestling.

“He was kind of cartoonish when we were kids … I’ve seen him take hits that would probably kill most men. Thankfully, I got some of his hard head. I don’t know if I got the whole thing, though, because there has been some situations where you think he might be dead and he’s fine, doesn’t get a concussion. You know, he’s swearing about something else -- he stubbed his toe on the way down.

“I’ve got the three rules of being a father I tell my wife all the time when she asks me to shave my mustache. I say, ‘My father always had a mustache.’ My father always drove a big, big truck, so I drive a big truck. And my father could always beat up all the other dads at school, and I sure hope that I can do that, since Dan’s kids will go to different schools. So those are my three rules. I try to live up to those.”

‘My dad was my best friend, man.’

“My dad was my biggest fan. He never missed a fight. He would get drunk and just be in the crowd. There’s one night I’m fighting and these guys were, like, ‘Kick his butt! Kick his butt,’ using other words, while my dad was, like, ‘Kick his butt son. Kick his butt. F him up!’ These guys look at my dad and were, like, ‘Get your [ass] down!’ and blah, blah, blah, and they just start going off on my dad. Dude, I stopped in the middle of the fight and I climbed out of the ring and I walk up to this guy and I’m, like, ‘If you talk to my dad like that again, I’ll beat you down right where you stand.’ And the guy was, like, ‘Oh my God, that’s your dad?’ And then they became my dad’s biggest fans; they started buying my dad more drinks.

“My dad was my best friend, man. We hung out together all the time. He never missed a fight. And the saddest part was, in ’05, when I went on the ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ [Hurricane] Katrina hit two weeks later. So my dad, being a contractor, he had a lot of work; he was backed up, so he never made it to see me fight Marcus [Davis]. And, in ’06, he ended up dying before he could ever watch me fight in the UFC.

“He died from cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol … When he didn’t drink, he was in pain. He kind of drank himself to where the drinking numbed the pain. I had to watch my dad literally kill himself for a year and a half.

“I knew he was killing himself, and he knew it, but we got to be best friends again before he died, and that was one of the turning pints in my life. The one thing I remember him asking me was: always take care of your mom and your sister, help your brother, but we were soldiers, and they [are] going to be able to fend for themselves, but if they need you, you be there. And that’s the way I live now. I just always want to be there for my family.”

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