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Jim Miller

Sport: Mixed Martial Arts

Born: August 30, 1983

Town: Sparta

James Andrew Miller was born August 30, 1983 in Sparta. He was the youngest of three wrestling-obsessed brothers. Their father was in the construction business. All three Miller boys wrestled for Sparta High School. Jim hadn’t planned on continuing his career in college, but walked on to the Virginia Tech team as a freshman. He was unable to balance his schoolwork with wrestling and left after a year.

Jim and Dan both ended up working construction with their father, but continued wrestling—each other. In 2005, they began watching The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV and realized that their wrestling background would give them an advantage in the octagon. They took jiu-jitsu classes and then began fighting at small events around New Jersey. Jim’s ability to score quick victories earned him his first title shot at Muhsin Corbbrey. He won the Reality Fighting Lightweight championship with an armbar but then lost to fellow New Jerseyan Frankie Edgar in his first title defense. Jim then won the Cage Fury Fighting title in 2007 against Al Buck. Dan, who competed at a heavier weight, also had success during this time.

Impressed by the Millers’ toughness, UFC signed both brothers in the summer of 2008. Jim won his first two bouts before losing to Gray Maynard in UFC 96. He focused on improving his footwork and ran off a string of victories that ran into 2011. The winning streak ended against Benson Henderson. Jim had contracted mononucleosis while trying to make weight for the fight and lost a decision. He lost by submission for the first time in 2012. By the end of 2012, however, he was back on the winning track and set a record for career victories in the UFC Lightweight division. His victory over Joe Lauzon in December was recognized as UFC Fight of the Year.

In the years that followed, Jim won some and lost some, but often earned “Fight of the Night” honors. In 2018, he defeated Alex White to become the first UFC Lightweight fighter with 30 bouts under his belt. Brother Dan retired in 2015 with a record of 14–8. Jim and Dan operate Miller Brothers MMA in Sparta.


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