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IFL refugees Dan and Jim Miller anxious for UFC debuts

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Twenty20Dollars

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For IFL refugees and brothers Dan Miller (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Jim Miller (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), the chance to fight in the UFC can't come soon enough.

"My brother and I, we quit our jobs a couple weeks ago," Jim recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Now we're training full-time. I'm anxious to get in there. It's tough going into it the first couple fights before you have a little padding in the wallet."

Jim, a lightweight, was scheduled to make his debut for the UFC at April's Ultimate Fight Night 13 against Marcus Aurelio. The then-struggling IFL held Miller's contract, and the organization blocked Jim from accepting the fight.

That decision left 24-year-old Jim with bitter feelings about the organization.

"I wasn't too happy with what was going on with [the IFL] at the moment," Jim admitted. "I really didn't get treated that well personally. So I was pretty happy when we got out of [the IFL contract].

"We were actually supposed to be out of it when I got called for the (Marcus) Aurelio fight (in the UFC). Then [the IFL] kind of hosed me."

For 27-year-old Dan, who earned the IFL's middleweight title with a submission win over Ryan McGivern in his final bout for the ill-fated IFL, the experience was equally upsetting.

"[The IFL's demise] was pretty frustrating," Dan said. "To win the title and not get to defend it? That's what makes a champion -- being able to defend the title. That is frustrating, not being able to defend my belt."

Fortunately for both, the UFC came quickly calling. In fact, stunningly quick.

"My manager had been in talks with the IFL," Jim explained. "(He was) asking them what was going on, when we were getting out, all that stuff. Then it all happened so quickly. It was like one day. It was like, 'Oh, you're released from the IFL.' A day later the UFC's calling up. It was pretty crazy."

Now in the sport's premier organization, the three-year veterans are excited to display to the world the advantages that training with each other has provided.

"We push each other really hard -- if it's rolling or just doing striking and conditioning," Dan said. "We really push each other. No one can push you like family. You can get under each other's skin, but it never gets into anything bigger."

Jim echoed his brother's sentiments.

"I think [training with a brother] is a huge advantage," Jim said. "Dan and I are really competitive, but we've never gotten into fights or anything like that. We joke around with each other. We're competitive with each other. We push each other. He likes to tap me out. I like to tap him out. But it's more just like rubbing it in the other guy's face."

Of course training is one thing. Competing at the same time can prove a difficult challenge.

"On nights when we've fought on the same card, it can get a little hairy," Jim said. "We've been lucky that most of the time nothing's really happened. The last two fights that we fought on the same card were a little tough.

"The one we fought in November at Ring of Combat, it was the third round and Dan was fighting before me. He took a mean right hook and ended up breaking the bone in his face. He takes the punch and it doesn't even wobble him, and he wins the fight. But then he comes back and he's got this divot in his face.

"So then the doctors are like, 'Oh, you broke a bone. You've got to go to the hospital.' Then I've got to sit there and see my older brother put on a gurney. So he's going to the emergency room 45 minutes before I'm supposed to step in the ring. He's been there every day with me training. He's been in my corner for every other fight. And then to have to wish him luck as he goes to the hospital was tough. It was really difficult to keep my head in the game."

While both fighters are still waiting on their first bout with their new organization, it is the type of grit and determination displayed that November evening that the brothers believe will lead them to continued success in the UFC.

"I like to push the pace," Dan said. "I go hard for all three rounds. When you see me fight the fight is going to end up on the ground. And it's going to be a war on the ground."

Jim sees himself in much the same manner.

"I'm not the best wrestler," Jim admitted. "I'm not the best jiu-jitsu guy. I'm not the best striker. But my style is just to keep advancing. Get my opponent into a scramble and take something.

"And I'm really not going to leave anything for the after-party. There are guys out there that like to pace it out so they feel the same in the third round as they did the first round. That just doesn't sit well with me. I'm going to go out and I'm going to push as hard as I can.

"If it comes down to me now being able to stand up after the third round, then I've got three cornermen in my corner to carry me out."

Post #1   8/23/08 12:42:27PM   

Twenty20Dollars

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Im looking forward to see how these two do in the UFC, because they have impressive records but are taking a step up in competition from the IFL to the UFC and Jims got a ways to go in the LW division.

Post #2   8/23/08 12:55:58PM