Sunday, September 09, 2018

Jim Miller believes he contract Lyme disease in 2013, and he struggled with it, undiagnosed for a period. The joint pain and foggy brain are part of combat sports, so by 2015 when he was feeling them acutely, the connection took a while to make.

“If I did a light circuit or I bench pressed 185 pounds I’d feel like I lifted a boulder off my chest,” said Miller, as transcribed by Ben Fowlkes for MMAjunkie. “I wouldn’t be able to move for three days.”

“It was all things that I thought were associated with being a professional fighter. Like, well, I say the wrong word every now and then. Eh, I use my head as a weapon. What do you expect?”

Miller went into UFC 228 on a four-fight losing streak; a loss would have almost certainly resulted in a cut. However, he tapped Alex White in just 99 seconds. Post-fight backstage, Miller talked about the ordeal in a taped interview.

“The journey that I’ve been on, it’s tough for me because I don’t want people to know,” said Miller. “I don’t want them to know what I’m going through. I don’t want them to experience it themselves, I don’t want them to have a loved one experience it. And the most messed up part is that my Lyme disease is not that bad, comparatively, to some people I’ve met.

“It sucks, and the last six or eight months I’ve felt pretty damn good. I’ve been able to train in a way that gets me ready to do my best inside the octagon. That’s something I hadn’t been able to do in a long time.”

“I expect the most of myself, and when I haven’t done it it’s a letdown to me. I don’t care what anybody else thinks. I’m going out there to perform for myself. I’m one of those guys that, I’d probably fight if there wasn’t a UFC card, if there wasn’t UFC 228. Like, ‘hey, you want to fight in a basement somewhere?’ Why not, let’s give it a shot. It’s the test. I like the test.”