Jim Miller, Clay Guida and how the No. 59 factors into UFC history

Jim Miller and Clay Guida meet in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night co-main event, and their matchup is a record setter — even before they step into the Octagon.

Miller has had 32 UFC fights and Guida 27, and their combined 59 appearances are the most in the promotion’s history by any pair of fighters booked to face each other. The previous record is 52, set earlier this year by Guida vs. BJ Penn.

For Miller, Saturday’s bout in Newark, New Jersey, will give him the most fights of any athlete in UFC history, breaking a tie with Donald Cerrone. (“Cowboy” will pull back into a tie for the all-time lead when he duels Justin Gaethje on Sept. 14, his 33rd bout with the promotion.)

With all of that longevity — Miller (30-13, 1 NC overall) has been in the UFC since 2008, Guida (35-18) since ’06 — one might think they would have covered a lot of common ground. And these two have indeed done and seen a lot — just not together. This will be the first time the two lightweights will even be on the same fight card.

Some other random bits of history:

18: Most UFC lightweight victories

This distinction is owned not by Penn, Frankie Edgar, Khabib Nurmagomedov or any other all-time great at 155 pounds. It’s on the résumé of Miller, a 35-year-old everyman out of Sparta Township, New Jersey. And his record-setting total would be 19 wins if not for Thiago Alves missing weight before their 2016 fight, which was scheduled for lightweight but had to be switched to a catchweight bout.

Miller’s 19 UFC wins put him fifth all time among fighters in all weight classes, behind only Cerrone (23), Demian Maia (21), Georges St-Pierre (20) and Michael Bisping (20).

With GSP and Bisping retired, that elevates Miller to No. 3 among active fighters.

51: Most takedowns by an active UFC lightweight

Guida is No. 1 here, just ahead of a wrestler of some renown — Nurmagomedov (50).

Among active fighters across all divisions, Guida’s total of 64 takedowns from both his lightweight and featherweight fights ranks him fourth, behind Edgar (68), Nik Lentz (68) and Maia (65).

The most impressive effort by Guida, a 37-year-old from Round Lake, Illinois: a 10-takedown night in 2008 against Mac Danzig, the winner of Season 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.

2: Fighters who competed at both UFC 100 and UFC 200

One of them is Miller. (You knew it had to be him or Guida, right? Otherwise, why would we be citing it here?) At UFC 100 in Las Vegas, 10 years ago this month, Miller was dominant in taking a unanimous decision over Danzig. Seven years later almost to the day, also in Vegas, Miller opened the show at UFC 200 with a first-round TKO of “The Fireball Kid,” Takanori Gomi.

The other fighter who was on both the 100 and 200 marquees? Brock Lesnar. He headlined UFC 100 with a TKO victory in his first defense of the heavyweight championship, smashing ex-champ Frank Mir and leaving his old nemesis (Mir had handed him his only loss at that point) in a heap on the canvas in Round 2. At UFC 200, Lesnar ended a retirement of nearly six years to beat up Mark Hunt for three rounds, but that unanimous decision win was overturned to a no contest because Lesnar tested positive twice — both in competition and out — for the banned estrogen blocker clomiphene. Lesnar was suspended for a year by the Nevada Athletic Commission and has not fought since.

19: Title fights at events where Miller has competed*

Miller was in his fourth UFC fight before he was on the undercard of a championship fight. But that night, at the much-hyped UFC 100, there actually were two belts on the line. Right before Lesnar’s heavyweight title defense against Mir, the co-main event featured the greatest welterweight ever, St-Pierre, defending his belt in a unanimous decision victory over Alves.

And once Miller and GSP shared a bill, they made it a regular thing, as if they were co-stars in a buddy film. (Would watch.) UFC 100, at which Miller beat Danzig, started a run of three straight St-Pierre defenses featuring Miller on the undercards. When St-Pierre beat Dan Hardy at UFC 111 in March 2010 in Newark, Miller opened the main card with a win over Mark Bocek. GSP’s victory over Josh Koscheck at UFC 124 that December in Montreal was preceded by Miller’s kneebar submission of Charles Oliveira.

* One of those title fights was for an interim belt, so maybe the total should be 18 1/2?

13: Title fights at events where Guida has competed

Guida jumped into the championship picture in a big way, too, right from the start. He made his promotional debut at UFC 64, an October 2006 event in Las Vegas that featured Sean Sherk‘s win over Kenny Florian for the vacant lightweight title and was headlined by Rich Franklin‘s middleweight defense against a Brazilian challenger with only one UFC fight under his belt. His name is Anderson Silva, and Silva’s first-round KO of “Ace” began a title reign that would go on for seven years and include a then-record 10 defenses. “The Spider” ended up with a 17-fight winning streak when you add up fights that came before his title run as well as the occasional detour to light heavyweight.

The Guida debut? It was a second-round submission win over Justin James. Clearly overshadowed.

1: Main event victories for Miller or Guida

Miller has fought in three UFC main events, winning his first one via first-round submission over Melvin Guillard in 2012. Lower on the card that night in Nashville, Tennessee, was a young fighter making his UFC debut, a wrestler from Dagestan by the name of Khabib Nurmagomedov. The future lightweight champion won via submission over Kamal Shalorus to run his record to 17-0. He has won 10 more times since that night.

(Actually, there was a way bigger debut at the event: Jon Anik did UFC play-by-play for the first time.)

Miller’s other two main events took place in his home state of New Jersey, and both were losses. In May 2012 in East Rutherford, Nate Diaz defeated him by second-round guillotine choke. In July 2014 in Atlantic City, Miller was clipped by a Cerrone head kick and lost by second-round KO.

Guida also has fought in three UFC main events, losing them all — to Roger Huerta by third-round submission atop the bill of the Season 6 finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2007 in Las Vegas, to Diego Sanchez by split decision at the TUF 9 finale in 2009 (also in Vegas), and to Gray Maynard by split decision in 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

41: Most UFC submission attempts

Miller holds the UFC record for submission attempts, and eight of them turned into submission victories. That latter number is the most wins by sub in lightweight division history, though it’s well short of the promotion record of 13, held by Oliveira — whom Miller submitted via knee bar at UFC 124 in Montreal in 2010. It was the Brazilian’s first career defeat by tapout.

5:20:49 vs. 5:19:16: How Miller’s cage time stacks up with Guida’s

Miller ranks 10th all time in Octagon time across all weight divisions, impressive but not even close to Edgar’s record 7 hours, 12 minutes, 33 seconds. Among lightweights, however, Miller is No. 1, since he has spent all of his UFC time in the 155-pound division (other than the Alves catchweight fight in 2016), giving him 5:05:49 inside the cage at 155 pounds. Edgar has been a featherweight for the past six years and clocks in well behind in the division where he used to be champ.

As for Guida, he ranks No. 3 among active lightweights, at 4:00:30. His seven fights at 145 pounds account for the rest of his total UFC time, which puts him right behind Miller in seventh place among active fighters.

19: Cities where Miller has fought in the UFC — and Guida, too

Miller has fought in 19 cities during his time in the UFC. Guida has fought in 19 locations, too. And while they have some travelogue commonalities — Miller has competed in Las Vegas eight times, Guida six — their paths have somehow never intersected.

Saturday’s fight will be Miller’s eighth in his home state of New Jersey. He already has competed four times in Newark, twice in Atlantic City and one time in East Rutherford. The only out-of-state places where he has fought multiple times are Milwaukee and Dallas.

Miller began his UFC run in Birmingham, England, but has fought internationally only three more times — twice in Canada (Montreal, Vancouver) and once in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Aside from Las Vegas, Guida has competed more than once in only two places: Bromfield, Colorado, and his hometown of Chicago. (He fights out of Johnsburg, Illinois, an hour northwest of the United Center, where he is 1-1.) And while Vegas is by far his most popular workplace, Guida has not competed there since 2011, a span of 13 fights.

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