UFC: Jim Miller Looking to Avenge Losses; Calls out Gray Maynard

Andrew Saunders@SaundersMMACorrespondent IIJanuary 4, 2013

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Jim Miller (left) strikes Joe Lauzon (right) during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Closing out 2012 with a blood-filled war against Joe Lauzon, longtime UFC veteran Jim Miller is ready to climb the ladder once again. And in the eyes of the New Jersey native, the next step comes in the form of two-time UFC title challenger Gray Maynard.

Miller called out Maynard on Friday's edition of MMAJunkie radio, where he was a call-in guest.

"I guarantee you nobody else is asking to fight Gray," Miller said.

Not only was Maynard the original UFC 155 opponent of Joe Lauzon, but he previously faced Miller back at UFC 96. "The Bully" earned a clean sweep on the judges' scorecards, which resulted in the only loss for Miller in his first 10 UFC contests.

Both Miller and Maynard have had a mixed bag of success in their most recent contests, with each man winning two of his last four contests.

Miller was riding the momentum of seven straight wins when he was steamrolled by now-champion Benson Henderson at UFC on Versus 5. He rebounded with a win over Melvin Guillard last January before being overwhelmed by Nate Diaz back in May.  His Fight of the Year victory over Lauzon allowed him to end 2012 on a high note.

Maynard was successful in his most recent bout, a split-decision against Clay Guida over the summer. That win followed a pair of unsuccessful attempts to wrestle the UFC lightweight championship away from Frankie Edgar in 2011.

This is a good fight for Gray to take, as he is looking to get back into the title picture sooner rather than later. However, with Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez entering the UFC in the near future, Maynard will need an impressive win against a top name if he is going to do that. If he can dominate Miller the second time around, a third shot at UFC gold is nearly a certainty.