LAS VEGAS – After unexpectedly losing a fight earlier this year just one day before he was scheduled to walk to the cage, Jim Miller is looking to stay busy for the rest of 2021.

Tied with Donald Cerrone for the most official UFC appearances in history, Miller said even he was taken aback when Bobby Green collapsed after weigh-ins ahead of their planned February meeting, but he knew right away he wanted to be rescheduled as quickly as possible.

“I’ve had like 50 fights – 50 pro fights – and that’s never happened to me, so you know, I guess there’s a time for everything,” Miller told MMA Junkie at a Wednesday media day at the UFC Apex.

A 15-year veteran of the sport, Miller knew he couldn’t go again immediately due to the difficulty of back-to-back weight cuts, but an eight-week turnaround worked out just right – even if it did mean adding time to a layoff that currently dates back to August.

“It worked out pretty well, you know – I had a good couple weeks of training,” Miller said. “My weight was low, you know, to begin with, so there really wasn’t any struggle with that, and I’ve been feeling good the last couple weeks. It sucks being on the sidelines for eight months, but whatever. Sh*t happens, so yeah, I’m ready to fight and feeling good.”

Miller (32-15 MMA, 21-14 UFC) now returns to the cage against a man 10 years his junior in Joe Solecki (10-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC on ABC 2 event at the UFC Apex. The two are currently scheduled to face off in the featured prelim on ESPN and ESPN+ before the main card goes live on ABC.

As one of the UFC’s elder statesman, Miller is used to facing younger opponents and believes he’s seen this type of matchup from both sides of the equation.

“It’s a fight against a very dangerous up-and-comer, a bit younger than me, you know, guy that’s chomping at the bit to make his name in the division, so it’s a place that i’ve been before, myself as him, and it’s an opponent that I’ve had before as well,” Miller said. “So it’s just a fight, you know? At this
point it’s like, yeah, man there’s been quite a few at this point, so you know, I get fired up for every one of them.”

Miller fought three times in 2020, and he’d like to be at least that active again in 2021, even with the frustrating start to his calendar. And while February proved to him that the sport of MMA remains unpredictable, he said if all goes well, he’d like to fight again on July 10, when former UFC champions Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are expected to meet for a third time.

“I would like to fight, you know, come out of this one healthy and fight on the McGregor-Poirier card,” Miller said. “I think that’s a good timeframe for me. I can ease up for a couple weeks and then just not get too, like, out of shape or put on weight and just get right back into the grind and keep things going.”

To see the full interview with Miller, check out the video above.