Long but good writeup/interview about Dan Miller - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Saint Louis MO
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Long but good writeup/interview about Dan Miller

I like the Miller brothers, Dan especially. He really seems humble and praises a lot of his fellow middle weights in the UFC.

Enjoy if you haven't seen it already.

It started out as just a normal Friday, but by the end of January 15th, Dan Miller and his brand new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt were the talk of the MMA world.

I didnt expect it to be all over the internet like that, said Miller. It was crazy.

Just goes to show you how far Miller - the older brother of fellow UFC fighter Jim has come in the 16 months since his Octagon debut against Rob Kimmons in September of 2008. No longer toiling on the local circuit, his exploits are now newsworthy, something the soft-spoken 28-year old has had to get used to, but at the same time, he accepts it as part of the job. And when it comes to the belt he received from Renzo Gracie black belt Jamie Cruz, its clear that hes humbled by the honor.

Its an honor getting it from Jamie and that he recognizes my skills and thinks that I deserve to be at that level, said Miller. Thats really what it is, the recognition from him, and Im proud of that.

The timing is perfect for Miller too, considering that on February 6th hell be taking on the man considered to be the best jiu-jitsu player in the middleweight division, Demian Maia. But just because hes got a black belt like Maia, that doesnt mean he was blessed with magic powers to use on fight night.

Not that I know, he laughs. Maybe that comes with the first degree or the second degree. Right now Im just a regular black belt.

But all joking aside, Maia has shown his ground game to be at least a step or two ahead of everyone elses. And thats to an untrained eye. What does a black belt in BJJ like Miller see when he looks at Maia, and what sets the Brazilian apart from the pack?

It never seems to me like he gets flustered in there when hes on the ground in his element, said Miller. Ive seen him get rolled and lose mount and stuff like that, but it never really bothers him. He just keeps going and eventually he works his way in and chokes a guy out or submits him. Hes just very smooth and very, very good.

Usually years and years of practice will produce a similar calm in the heat of battle, regardless of the sport or endeavor. Miller isnt so sure thats going to be the case with him.

I dont know if its gonna come in time, I think he (Maia) is just a freak, he smiles. Hes just so good and hes picked it up so well for MMA. There are some black belts and jiu-jitsu guys who dont have a good game for MMA, and I think hes got a great game for MMA. He works it in very well.

Being able to adapt his Jiu-Jitsu game to MMA had been the key to Maias success so far, with the exception of his last bout, a one punch, 21 second knockout loss to Nate Marquardt. The defeat gave hope to other middleweights that perhaps Maias glaring weakness was indeed his standup game, but Miller isnt counting on lightning striking twice. Hes got one goal, and he doesnt care how he achieves it.

I need to get the win and Im going in to get the win, said Miller. Im sure hes been working on his hands and Im sure hes getting better, so I think its gonna be a different fight from the Marquardt fight. Obviously Marquardts a phenomenal striker and I dont know if Im up to his level yet, so Im just gonna go in there and fight my fight and see what happens. This is my biggest test and well see where Im at.

Recovering from a devastating knockout loss is Maias albatross heading into Las Vegas. Miller has his own issues, as hes coming off a decision defeat to Chael Sonnen at UFC 98 last May that has been followed by the longest layoff of his career one of over eight months come fight night.

First the loss, Millers only one in the UFC after a 3-0 start, and his first overall since he dropped a split decision to Mike Massenzio in 2006.

He (Sonnen) came in and did exactly what he needed to do to beat me, said Miller. He came in, took me down, and controlled me. He didnt let me get anything off, he had a great gameplan, and he came in real tough.

The defeat prompted Miller to alter his training, something he felt was lacking before the Sonnen fight.

I had to train a little smarter and better, he said. Hes a great wrestler and I couldnt stop anything.

By September, Miller had another fight scheduled, against CB Dollaway, but a staph infection sidelined him and made the wait for redemption even longer.

Its tough to lose and then not get the opportunity to redeem yourself right away, he said. If it was up to me, I would have fought in June or July. Its been a little nuts for me and I just want to get back in there. I dont like to sit around and do nothing.

He did have something to keep him busy in the months away, and that was helping Jim prepare for his bouts against Mac Danzig, Steve Lopez, and Duane Ludwig. It could have been a hard thing for Miller to deal with, just being around the UFC atmosphere as a spectator and not a participant, but he had no issues with it at all.

Its my job to help Jim get ready, he said. When I dont have a fight lined up, and he does, my job is to help him get better, help him train, be a punching bag for him (Laughs), and get him mentally ready for the fight. I knew my time was coming, I just had to wait for it.

His time comes in a little over two weeks. And guess what? It cant come soon enough for him.

I just want to get back in the ring, he said. I love fighting and it really doesnt matter against who; I want to be in there. I love training, but I do it to fight.
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