Jim Miller’s Longevity Allows Him to Be Part of People’s Main Event at UFC 300
Becoming a UFC champion is difficult. There are only so many weight classes, and it is not enough for a fighter to be good enough. To earn championship fights, and the extra opportunities that come with rising to the top, fighters also need to be able to market themselves so they can draw high pay-per-view numbers.
But the beauty of Jim Miller and Bobby Green is that they don’t need a championship belt to appeal to the hardcore fanbase. Both men have captured the hearts of the UFC fan base by being long-term fixtures in the promotion. Green, 37, fought four times in 2023, winning two bouts by finish.
Miller, 40, will enter this lightweight fight having won five of his past six fights. He will be the only fighter who has competed on the UFC 100, 200, and 300 cards. MMA news sites show that Miller has the UFC record for most wins and would love to extend that record against Green on April 13 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
Dance Partners at Last
Green couldn’t ever seem to be healthy at the right time to fight Miller. The duo was scheduled to meet up in the octagon three times previously. In all of those instances, Green was forced to pull out for one reason or another. At UFC 172, Green had to pull out of a potential fight due to an elbow injury.
When Green weighed in to fight Miller at UFC 258, Green collapsed after the weigh-ins and was reportedly deemed unable to compete. At UFC 276 in July 2022, Green pulled out for reasons that weren’t disclosed. Green doesn’t appear to be ducking Miller, as Green has taken off other fights during that period, but the amount of times this fight has been made and rescheduled is bizarre, according to MMA breaking news.
Debuting With a Bang
Miller jumped off the regional scene by winning his first fight at UFC 89 in October 2008 by submitting David Baron in the third round in England. It would kick off a long and winding road for Miller. Miller’s longest sustained run at success came after his win at UFC 100 over Mac Danzig.
That was the start of a seven-fight win streak that saw Miller win a kneebar submission over future champion Charles Oliviera. However, Miller lost to Benson Henderson to stop the streak in August 2011. Miller would end up trading wins and losses for the next stretch of years.
Miller never got close to earning a shot at the championship. Any time he found success, Miller would see that quickly snuffed out by a tougher opponent. Miller’s worst year came in 2017 when he lost three fights that became part of a four-fight losing streak.
Miller Can’t be Slowed Down
Miller never stopped working against Gabriel Benitez during a fight night card last weekend at the UFC Apex. While Miller would have likely run away with a decision win over Gabriel Benitez if he wanted to, Miller continued to hunt the submission. He could lock Benitez up in a face crank in the third round.
Benitez had no choice but to tap out. Miller’s last five victories in the UFC have all come since 2021. All five of them ended up being stopped by Miller. Miller also has one unanimous decision loss to Alexander Hernandez during that stretch.
Green Comes Over With Strikeforce
MMA latest updates show that one of the significant promotions the UFC successfully absorbed was Strikeforce. A number of future UFC stars flourished in Strikeforce before coming over to the UFC. When Green made the leap from Strikeforce to the UFC, Green was a successful professional fighter.
Green submitted Jacob Volkmann at UFC 156 to win his debut and improved to 20-5 in his career. That was part of Green’s most successful run in the octagon. Green won eight straight fights to improve to 23-5 before his winning streak was stopped by Edson Barboza in November 2014.
Green became notable for his willingness to accept challenges many other fighters wouldn’t. Green agreed to fight future champion Islam Makhachev with a two-week turnaround in February 2022.
That decision didn’t go well for his record. Green lost by a first-round TKO, but it had to have a positive impact on his bottom line.
Don’t Mess With the King
Green enters this fight with Miller coming off a year with mixed results. Green cemented his reputation as a solid gatekeeper by knocking out Grant Dawson in 33 seconds. However, Green’s most recent fight was a first-round knockout loss to Jalin Turner.
While Green has shown a willingness to take on tough challenges on short notice, his ability to keep winning them may fade as he gets older. Green will want to maximize his ability to make money while his body still allows it. Green is 31-15-1 (one no-contest) as a professional.
Ready for the Milestone Card
The UFC always attempts to make a bigger deal of milestone card numbers. If you count the BMF fight as a championship, there are two championship fights on the card. A few former champions, Aljamain Sterling, Jiří Procházka, and Charles Oliviera will all take on new challenges as well. Those three men, however, figure to be in the championship picture for a few years.
Miller and Green won’t. They are the ultimate company men. The UFC can rely on Green and Miller to entertain in a pinch. That is what makes their spot on UFC 300 so appropriate. Neither will ever wear championship gold around his waist, but the promotion couldn’t exist without solid professionals like them to fill out fight cards.
That’s why it was important for the UFC to honor Miller’s request to continue his string of appearances on the 100, 200, and 300 cards. Miller has proven to be a reliable employee. The least the UFC could let him do is pick his own schedule to punch the clock every once in a while.
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