While Miller represents a small step down in competition for the struggling Pettis – who has recently battled a procession of top-10 foes in Max Holloway, Charles Oliveira, Edson Barboza, Eddie Alvarez and Rafael Dos Anjos – this is apparently a fight Pettis asked for specifically.
On the latest episode of the UFC’s Watchlist series, matchmaker Sean Shelby explained how this Pettis vs. Miller fight came together, and why he’s such a fan of the bout.
“ALL FIGHTERS GO THROUGH THIS AT SOME POINT IN THEIR CAREER,” SHELBY EXPLAINED (H/TMMAJUNKIE.COM). “I THINK [PETTIS] CAME TO A PATCH WHERE HE WAS EXPERIMENTING, GOING DOWN TO ’45. I THINK HE FOUND OUT THAT THE WEIGHT CUT WAS DIMINISHING RETURNS FOR HIM. HE’S BACK UP AT ’55, AND HE’S THE ONE WHO REALLY WANTED THIS FIGHT. HE CALLED ME AND WAS REALLY PUSHING FOR IT.”
“YOU KNOW JIM MILLER,” SHELBY CONTINUED. “I MEAN, JIM MILLER DOESN’T GIVE AN ‘F.’ HE’S A GUY THAT WILL FIGHT ANYBODY, ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO CALL HIM, AND HE’LL SHOW UP, AND HE WAS DOWN FOR THIS FIGHT – AND ON PAPER, IT’S A REALLY FUN FIGHT.”
“MILLER IS ALWAYS IN EPIC BATTLES, AND PETTIS, I STILL THINK HE’S IN THE PRIME OF HIS CAREER. I THINK HE’S STILL GO IT. I THINK HE JUST NEEDS TO FIND HIMSELF AGAIN.”
Do you think this UFC 213 showdown between Anthony Pettis and Jim Miller lives up to Sean Shelby’s expectations? Who do you think wins this fight? Does Pettis get back on track or does Miller score one of his best wins yet? Join the conversation in the comments section!
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 7/2/2017.