MMA Ratings Podcast

August 4, 2019

UFC on ESPN 5: Jim Miller Is A Borderline UFC Hall of Famer

By Adam Martin

When Jim Miller retires from MMA, his career will represent an interesting case of whether or not he's worthy of being included in the UFC Hall of Fame. The New Jersey native has never held a UFC title, and at age 35 it's hard to ever see him doing so, yet it's not completely out of the realm of possibility that Miller could someday enter the UFC Hall of Fame.

First, let's crunch the numbers. Miller has a 31-13, 1 NC record in his MMA career, which dates back to 2005. He has been a member of the UFC roster since 2008 and has since then racked up a 20-12, 1 NC record inside the Octagon. He has the most fights in UFC history with 33 bouts. He has the most fights in UFC lightweight history with 32 bouts. (Note that one win against Thiago Alves came in a catchweight bout.) And he has the most wins in UFC lightweight division history with 19. Those are impressive numbers.

Despite his longevity, however, Miller has never been the best fighter at 155 lbs. He came closest to the title in 2011, when Miller rode a seven-fight win streak into a fight against Benson Henderson at UFC on Versus 5 and lost a decision. That was the closest to the top of his weight class he's ever been. Despite that, Miller has remained one of the busiest and most active competitors in the UFC lightweight division. He might not have won the belt, but he's won plenty of fights.

When Miller retires from the UFC, it's fair to say he will have even more fights and more wins than he currently does. Although it looked like Miller was on a sharp decline between 2017 and 2018 when he lost four straight fights, he's since won three of his last four outings by submission. His latest win, over Clay Guida in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 5, came just 58 seconds into the first round. Miller might be 35, but he has plenty of time to continue padding his stats.

Whenever he does hang up the gloves, Miller's career will be an intriguing one when it comes to potential inclusion in the modern wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. He doesn't have elite names on his resume or titles, but the fact that he's been this successful for 11 years and counting is something special. If he can get up to say, 25 wins before he retires from the UFC, it would be hard to discount his Hall of Fame claim. His 10 Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonuses also don't hurt. If Stephan Bonnar can be in the UFC Hall of Fame (albeit for his classic fight with Forrest Griffin), then Miller should have a shot at it too.

Ultimately, the UFC Hall of Fame isn't as legitimate as other sports' halls because there is no voting process and it comes down to whether or not UFC Rresident Dana White and the promotional brass likes you. In Miller's case, the UFC clearly likes him, or else they would have cut him after he lost four straight fights. He's been a favorite of the UFC for a long time, and if he can continue to build his legacy and add even more wins to his resume, it's hard to see the UFC leaving him out of the Hall. A lot can happen between now and when Miller retires, but the suggestion that he's a borderline Hall of Fame candidate right now is not as crazy as it may seem at first glance.

Clay Guida vs. Jim Miller: Jim Miller defeats Clay Guida via technical submission (guillotine choke) at 0:58 of Round 1.

UFC on ESPN 5: Covington vs. Lawler took place August 3, 2019 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Click HERE for more UFC on ESPN 5 Post-Fight Analysis

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