Exclusive – Erick Gonzalez ‘Honored’ To Fight ‘Legend’ Jim Miller, Predicts Late Stoppage Win

UFC newcomer, Erick ‘The Ghost Pepper’ Gonzalez has admitted he is “honored” to share the Octagon with lightweight division mainstay, veteran contender, Jim Miller for his UFC bow this weekend at UFC Vegas 40. But all that admiration for the veteran won’t stop Gonzalez from predicting a late stoppage win over the New Jersey grappler.

Gonzalez, who boasts a 14-5 professional record ahead of his first outing under the Dana White-led UFC banner, is currently in the midst of a two-fight winning spree, securing the victory in his first two fights back since an almost two-year hiatus.

The 29-year-old last competed against Samuel Alvarez at LXF 5 back in August, lodging his fifth career win via decision.

Gonzalez, a native of Redondo Beach, California was landed on as an opponent for Miller, after the veteran saw his UFC Vegas 37 bout with Nikolas Motta halted and shelved after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Taking the fight with Miller on just 10-days’ notice, Gonzalez informed Current MMA reporter, Bradley Hall — that he plans on testing the veteran’s cardio over the course of three rounds, prior to a late stoppage success.

“I see it going the distance and me finishing him (Jim Miller) in the third round,” Gonzalez said. “I’m a grinder and I will push his cardio to the max without a doubt.”

Taking the bout on such short-notice, Gonzalez admitted that he’s quite honored to share the Octagon with someone of Miller’s ilk for his first walk under the promotion’s scrutiny.

“It’s an honor to fight a legend like Jim Miller,” Gonzalez said. “He has an amazing career and has some of the best names in his past fights. I truly believe this is a blessing because I have so much to gain and nothing to lose. This is my debut and he is a veteran.”

In terms of potential dream matchups, Gonzalez has claimed that he would enjoy the prospect of possibly sharing the Octagon with a past-foe of Miller, incoming UFC 269 headliner, former interim champion, Dustin Poirier.

“Man, I would love to fight Dustin Poirier someday,” Gonzalez said. “He is a savage. I think that would be a f*cking war.”

To go with his aforenoted judging win over Alvarez, Gonzalez has also handed defeats to the likes of Oziel Rodriguez, Milko Tucto, Yoel Jimenez, Alejandro Martinez, Danny Ramirez, and Marco Antonio Elpidio.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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