It was a brisk November day in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Two undefeated fighters were locking horns at Reality Fighting; a new England mixed martial arts promotion. “RF 14: Fall Brawl” featured two 5-0 professionals who were just beginning to tap into their potential. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar was staring across the ring at Jim “A-10” Miller; the tension of a main event filling the air. The bell sounds and both men move forward. As punches and kicks are flying back and forth, Edgar seems to be controlling the pace. Both fighters are going back and forth and in the final round Miller secures a tight guillotine choke. Leaning on his iron will, Edgar fights his way out to win an exciting unanimous decision over Miller. The crowd loved the action, but had no idea that they just witnessed a battle between two future UFC legends and Hall of Famers. Both men have since gone on to become champions, receive fight of the night bonuses and set many other records in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Fast forward fifteen years to present day, October 16, 2021. Edgar has gone down from lightweight to bantamweight and is preparing for a tough fight with Marlon “Chito” Vera. Miller is walking out to fight young up and coming prospect Erick Gonzalez. As the two men meet in the center of the UFC octagon, Miller comes out in a southpaw stance, Gonzalez in the orthodox stance. Both men touch gloves and the fight is on! Miller lands some leg kicks and a stiff left hand to get things started. Gonzalez comes forward to clinch, narrowly avoiding a kick from Miller. Gonzalez gets a takedown but Miller manages to return to his feet without taking damage. The two men begin to exchange again and Gonzalez lands a punch that wobbles Miller. Jim shows his veteran experience by taking Gonzalez down and navigating around the danger of his guard. As Jim postures to land some ground and pound strikes, Gonzalez kicks him away and stands up. Jim begins to let his hands go, noticing that Gonzalez is not protecting the left side of his face; giving Jim the opening to continually land his left cross. The round ends with Gonzalez looking wobbled from the last exchange. The second round begins and Gonzalez leaps in with a kick from too far away, again leaving the right side of his face unprotected. Jim fires his left hand like a missile and crumples Gonzalez instantly. The camera pans to Jim’s corner, three men expressing joy and relief over Jim’s victory.
Hudson Valley residents and knowledgeable mixed martial arts fans may recognize the cornerman closest to the camera as Brian McLaughlin; Jim’s head trainer. McLaughlin spends most days teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes in Poughkeepsie. He is the owner and head instructor of Precision Boxing and MMA, the Hudson Valley’s premiere mixed martial arts academy. Although Brian is a lifelong Hudson Valley resident, he spent his youth traveling to New Jersey where he first began training with Jim.
Brian first met Jim in 2005 at Planet Jiu-Jitsu in Florham Park, NJ. Training under Jeff Miller (no relation), the two would push each other through grueling training sessions and exchange various tricks and tips. They found themselves training together more regularly at AMA Fight Club in Whippany, New Jersey. Both looking to compete at the highest levels, Brian and Jim found their skills rapidly improving on the AMA mats. Not only were they working with each other, but also shared the mats with names like Khabib Nurmagomedov (former UFC champion), Amanda Nunes (current two-division UFC champion), Jaime Varner (former WEC champion) amongst many others.
In 2012, Brian had opened his own academy and had developed a true passion for coaching. He decided to put his fighting aspirations to the side and began focusing full time on coaching. Brian has been an integral part of Millers journey through the UFC and he prides himself on providing top notch training to all of his students. Like Jim, some students train with Brian to learn to compete at the highest level, whilst others want to train for self defense or fitness. Brian shows the same level of dedication to his day one white belts that he does to his veteran students. Brian teaches classes every day at Precision Boxing and MMA; frequently starting his day by driving to New Jersey to help Jim prepare for his next fight, always making sure to be back in Poughkeepsie by 5:00pm to teach kids Jiu-Jitsu.
Although Miller isn’t a McGregor-level superstar, he’s garnered the love and attention of fans and his fellow fighters by putting on exciting performances and always showing up to fight. Jim embodies the “anyone, any-time” persona that we all love to see in our favorite fighters. Few have a resume that can compare to Jim’s; most wins in the history of the UFC lightweight division, second most wins out of anyone in UFC history, 2012 Fight of the Year, 3x Performance of the Night bonus, 3x Submission of the Night bonus and 7x Fight of the Night bonus. In addition to those accomplishments, Miller has fought fellow legends such as Gray Maynard, Duane Ludwig, Charles Oliveira (2x), Benson Henderson, Nate Diaz, Joe Lauzon (2x), Donald Cerrone, Beneil Dariush, Michael Chiesa, Diego Sanchez, Takanori Gomi, Anthony Pettis, Dustin Porier, Dan Hooker and Clay Guida… just to name a few. Seriously, the list goes on.
Longevity and consistency are two words that come to mind when thinking of Jim Miller. Although plagued with a harsh case of Lyme disease for most of his career, Miller has pushed through multiple generations of fighters, consistently improving, and boldly facing any challenge that stands in front of him. When interviewed by Michael Bisping after his most recent win, Miller stated that he’s already fought at UFC 100 and UFC 200, and he hopes to be fighting at UFC 300. With a knockout victory in his 38th UFC bout, Miller does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Do you want to train with the most knowledgeable coaches in the Hudson Valley? Come train with Coach Brian and his staff at Precision Boxing and MMA! Give us a call at (845)392-8495 or click HERE!
About the Author
Oliver Swanson is an avid martial arts practitioner and fan of the sport. He teaches boxing classes in Poughkeepsie at Precision Boxing and MMA throughout the week. He loves to write about mixed martial arts and spend time in nature.