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Melvin Gulliard, Jim Miller agree to fight

A month ago, lightweight Melvin Guillard was on the verge of landing a title shot. Jim Miller was in a similar position this past summer.

But both men came up short in their most recent bouts and now find themselves clamoring to get back in the title picture.

One of them will take a big step toward accomplishing that goal Jan. 20 when they meet in Nashville, Tenn. The fighters have verbally agreed to the bout, UFC announced on Thursday.

Guillard (29-9-2, 1 no contest) had a five-fight win streak snapped Oct. 8, when he was submitted in the first round by Joe Lauzon.

It was a fight that Guillard requested to satisfy his desire to compete in Houston, where he lived for several years after Hurricane Katrina damaged his native New Orleans in August 2005.

Miller (20-3) had won seven fights in a row before dropping a unanimous decision to former WEC 155-pound champion Ben Henderson on Aug. 14.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.