Gray Maynard out; Jim Miller in

A knee injury has forced lightweight contender Gray Maynard out of a scheduled fight against Joe Lauzon next month in Las Vegas.

Stepping in for Maynard on the Dec. 29 card will be Jim Miller, UFC officials announced Wednesday.

Miller (21-4) seemed poised for title contention in the past two years, but untimely losses to Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz have dropped the 29-year-old's standing in the division.

The New Jersey resident has gone 1-2 since having a seven-fight win streak snapped in August 2011.

Lauzon (22-7) also is looking to join a title discussion that has eluded him thus far in his career. The 28-year-old is 3-1 in his last four appearances, including a submission win over Jamie Varner in August, one of the better fights this year.

The announcement means Maynard (11-1-1) will grace the Octagon only once in 2012. The No. 4-ranked lightweight according to ESPN.com defeated Clay Guida via split decision in June.