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UFC Vegas 74, The Morning After: Jim Miller’s old man power steals the show

Here’s what you may have missed!

Jim Miller has been doing this whole mixed martial arts (MMA) thing for a very, very long time (so have we).

A professional since 2005, Miller has been a proud and active member of UFC’s roster since 2008. His peak pretty clearly came between 2009-2011, when Miller put together a finish-filled, seven-fight win streak that saw him nearly score a title shot. Afterward, Miller would never again string together more than three in a row, and his public struggles with Lyme disease saw him fade from the spotlight, too.

Miller rebounded from that illness and started winning more often as a result. In the last 15 years as a UFC fighter, he’s fought elite competition from Benson Henderson to Charles Oliveira, and he holds numerous UFC records based on longevity.

He’s a fan favorite and a legend of the Lightweight division.

Currently, “A-10” is in the midst of another resurgence. Barring significant injury, there’s no longer any doubt of Miller reaching it to his target goal of UFC 300, because he’s winning! Miller has won four of his last five fights, earning stoppages in each of his victories and eliminating any chance of being forced into retirement.

The big reason for his recent victories? Punching power.

There’s an old boxing adage about power being the last asset to leave an aging fighter, but that’s not the case here. Historically, Miller is not a huge hitter. Prior to 2021, just four of Miller’s many victories came via (technical) knockout, and one of those was an injury stoppage. Conversely, three of those four recent victories mentioned come via knockout, including last night’s 23-second blitz over newcomer Jesse Butler (watch highlights).

The numbers don’t lie.

In his late 30s — Miller turns 40 in August — the New Jersey native has found significant punching power. He’s not ground striking aging veterans into fatigue finishes either — he’s scoring walk-off knockouts against young talent.

Miller ran through Butler last night. He knew exactly what counter punch was going to come back his direction when he pressured, and he countered it with a brutal left hand straight to the jaw. A decade ago, maybe Miller doesn’t commit so hard to that powerful of a shot in the fight’s first exchange. Last night, there wasn’t the slightest bit of hesitancy. Miller trusts his timing, instincts, and his punching power more than ever, and the result is some tremendous finishes.

I love watching Miller feast on newcomers, and I like his brawls against fellow veterans too. Remake the Jared Gordon or Bobby Green match ups, and there’s surefire fun. Lock some poor Contenders Series product in the cage with him, and the most likely result based on recent history is a quick stoppage.

In his post-fight interview, Miller mentioned a jump up to Welterweight. Why not pair him with someone like Matt Brown, another older athlete with the touch of death in his dominant hand?

For complete UFC Vegas 74: “Kara-France vs. Albazi” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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