After reeling off seven straight victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight division, Jim Miller was knocking on the door of a title shot. That was before he ran into one Ben Henderson at UFC on Versus 5: "Hardy vs. Lytle" on Aug. 14, 2011.
For three rounds, "Smooth" man-handled Miller all over the Octagon en route to a unanimous decision victory.
In the process, Henderson earned himself a title shot against division kingpin Frankie Edgar next month as the UFC makes its way over to "The Land of the Rising Sun" on Feb. 26, 2012, for its UFC 144 event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
If Miller's performance didn't seem on par with what you were accustomed to seeing, there was good reasoning behind it.
As Miller revealed to MMAFighting.com, while he doesn't want to take anything away from a great performance from Henderson, he discovered after the fight that he was suffering from a kidney infection and mononucleosis.
"It really hit me a couple hours after the fight. I woke up in the middle of the night and had this weird pain my lower back. It just wouldn't go away. It was something I never felt before and really hope to never feel again, to be perfectly honest. I had a bad night. I knew something was wrong and I didn't adapt to the situation. He fought a great fight, and I just wasn't capable to keep up that night,I really didn't know that I was sick. I knew something was wrong. I was pretty tired in camp and stuff like that, but when I was warming up for the fight, I knew something was off. I was getting winded just doing my warm-up round, and then when we were starting to get ready to go out there, I just didn't feel like I had energy. And then stepping into the Octagon, I usually have tons of energy flowing around, bouncing around, and I just didn't feel it. I tried to fight like I normally fight, and I wasn't able to put him away with that style of fighting. I feel like I should have made the correction, fought a little more conservatively, worked for dominant position and then go for the attack and stuff like that instead of throwing everything I had at him."
After ingesting several antibiotics and fluids, Miller was able to rid himself of the infections and resume training.
He will now look to start his long road back to the top of the lightweight rankings as he takes on the always dangerous Melvin Guillard in the headlining bout in the promotion's debut on FX, as the UFC storms Nashville, Tennessee, tomorrow night (Jan. 20. 2012) for UFC on FX 1.
Can Miller return to his old dominating form in Nashville? And would you be interested in seeing a rematch between Miller and Henderson after hearing the health issues he suffered during their first bout?