UFC Vegas 49’s Nikolas Motta wants to knock out ‘legend’ Jim Miller, says Paddy Pimblett ‘talks too much’


This Saturday will see Jim Miller and Nikolas Motta face each other in the UFC. This is five months after they were originally set for a date. The Brazilian is confident that a win over a “legend of the sport” will boost his name in the company.

Motta originally agreed to meet Drakkar Klose in April, but the UFC reached out hours later to ask if he’d be down to take on Miller at UFC Vegas 48. He didn’t hesitate to accept the chance to fight another East Coast fighter.

” I beat the best men out there, those that aren’t already in the UFC,” Motta said to MMA Fighting. “I beat Joe Solecki, who’s a UFC fighter now. In 54 second, I defeated Cesar Balmaceda (the [CFFC] champion). It’s such a coincidence that now they’ve put me against another guy from the East Coast.

“Jim Miller is a legend of New Jersey. He will soon be a Hall of Famer for the UFC. Once again I’ll prove that I’m the best.”

A veteran of 50 MMA fights, Miller has competed under the UFC banner since 2008 and has beaten the likes of Charles Oliveira, Gleison Tibau, Takanori Gomi, Joe Lauzon, Thiago Alves and Clay Guida. He will be fighting Motta in the Octagon and his UFC record of 39. will be extended.

Confident in his abilities after winning four of his past five, Motta vows to “fight smart” against Miller on Saturday.

” I’ll continue fighting the way that I have always fought, trying to finish it by knockout,” said he. “But I’m more experienced now, and I know I’m fighting an experienced guy, a man with the most fights in UFC history. I’ll bring the right strategy, the right game plan, and not fight emotive. Fight smart. This is the one I want to win .”

Motta trained with former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at Rio de Janeiro’s Nova Uniao for this bout and said that dos Anjos, who was scheduled the card opposite Rafael Fiziev before having the match pushed back to UFC 272, was the perfect training partner since “he’s a southpaw grappler like Jim Miller.”

“Last year I trained two or three months to fight Jim Miller and studied his game,” Motta said. Nova Uniao, as a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighter like Jim Miller was the ideal place. … Doing my camp with Rafael dos Anjos was great for my evolution.

“It couldn’t be better. It felt great to be in Brazil and train in the place where I grew up, Nova Uniao. Because they provided me with a strong foundation, I was able to get to the UFC. I grew up surrounded by legends, and now I came back to the place I started as a new fighter.”

Beating Miller in UFC Vegas 48 might help Motta get another fight, though he isn’t ready to name a fighter. He mentions Paddy Pimblett and Damir Hadzovic as potential foes, but for various reasons.

” I’d love to fight Damir Hadosovic, because they were due to fight in May but I had to withdraw,” Motta stated. “I feel very bad for pulling out even though I got injured. It’s stuck [in my throat]. Another guy I’d really like to fight is that Englishman, Paddy Pimblett. He is too talkative and hyped up. He speaks too often, and has lots of hype .”

Motta revealed the UFC once tried to book him versus Pimblett in London in 2021, but his coach advised him against the idea, opting to “wait to fight here in the United States.” In the end, the UFC pulled the plug on the London card.

” I wanted to fight him in London, and knock him out of his home,” Motta stated. That would be wonderful. I’ve done that many times in the United States, knocking someone out in their hometown. It’s amazing.”