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Jim Miller Goes for Eighth Straight Win, And Possible UFC Title Shot

To say Jim Miller fights under the radar is a bit of an understatement. With seven straight wins in the octagon, the New Jersey lightweight boasts the third-longest active win streak in the UFC. Yet due to the division's depth, he is often forgotten when it comes to the title picture.

On Sunday, he fights former WEC champ Ben Henderson in the co-main event of UFC Live 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. And perhaps he'll finally get his chance for a big moment. Because after UFC 133 was over, UFC president Dana White turned to future matters. Asked if Miller would earn an opportunity to fight for the belt if he beat Henderson, White nodded.

"Jim Miller is right there," he said. "He probably will."

Miller (20-2) has finished each of his last two fights, earning a TKO over Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128, and earning a submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 124. His only career losses are to the UFC's current champ (Frankie Edgar) and the No. 1 contender (Gray Maynard). Both fights went the distance.

For his part, Miller is extremely pragmatic about the waiting game. He says the UFC has not guaranteed him a title shot, and that if he considers himself the best (he does), he should be able to beat anyone in front of him regardless of weather he has a belt around his waist or not. So until he gets it, he'll continue to fight whoever the UFC puts in front of him.

He noted that there have been some strange situations at the top of the division recently, like BJ Penn's immediate rematch with Frankie Edgar, followed by Edgar's draw with Maynard, and Anthony Pettis forgoing a title shot and then losing out on his chance. With everything swirling around him, Miller hopes to stay the course and let his performances speak for themselves.

"There is just so much going on that to get frustrated by it would just be silly and just lead to more stress," he said on a recent teleconference. "So I just relax and take the fights as they come and just try to fight the best and beat them."

Once thought of as a grappling specialist, Miller has opened eyes with his improved striking, putting a beating on Shalorus that was punctuated by a left uppercut and knee to the head that led to the finish. The skills would serve him well in a rematch with either Edgar or Maynard, who both have strong standup skills.

Of course, he'll have to get there first, and defeating the 13-2 Henderson will be no easy task. He recently bounced back from a loss to Pettis to defeat Mark Bocek by decision at April's UFC 129. It was a decisive win for Henderson, who has won six of his seven fights under the Zuffa banner.

Given Henderson's resume, Miller may be able to finally earn the chance to fight for gold. While White wouldn't fully commit to the idea, he agreed that with eight wins in a row, Miller will have proven everything he needs to prove before getting his opportunity.

"That makes sense," he said.

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