Despite Likely Move to 145, Cole Miller Says He’ll Fight Donald Cerrone “Before I Die”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Cole Miller served up a vivid reminder on August 4th that the American Top Team fighter remains one of the lightweight division’s most consistent finishers, by tapping out T.J. O’Brien with a second round, guillotine choke. Despite the fact that the stoppage victory was Miller’s (18-5) sixth in seven Octagon wins, and that it returned the lightweight to the winner’s column after losing by UD to Matt Wiman in January, the former TUF competitor says his days at lightweight could be numbered.
“I’m very serious about moving down to 145 pounds,” the 27 year-old Miller told FCF. “One thing I lack at 155 is strength. The reason I’m competitive with these guys is because I’m a technical fighter, because of my style and because of my attributes. As far as weight is concerned though, I’m one of the smallest guys in this division. I might have height, I might have a good guard game, I come in shape and can fight anywhere the fight goes, but the one thing I really lack is the size and the strength.”
Despite being 6’1 tall, Miller’s does not envision having any considerable difficulties making the cut to 145, where his height and reach will serve as that much more of an advantage.
“Some of these lightweights cut down from around 190 pounds,” Miller noted. “I walk around 170, and that’s with me trying to walk around at 170. I’m really thin…but I think at 145 I’d be one of the bigger fighters.”
“This is all ideal though,” Miller added. “I haven’t fought at 145 in quite a while now, since I got on “The Ultimate Fighter,” and this is what I project in my mind as happening, but I have a solid team, a great nutritionist in my brother Micah Miller, I’m fully confident I can make 145. To fight fully recovered and 100%? It may take more than just one fight.”
Of course, Miller won’t be the first Octagon vet to make the jump down to featherweight, now that the 145 pound division is an option in the UFC.
“When I heard about the WEC merger I was talking to them about doing it then, but I had already signed to fight Matt Wiman,” said Miller. “I still had another fight at the weight on my contract, so they know I’m considering the move and how serious I am about it.”
Although it’s clear that Miller’s sights are on dropping to featherweight, there remains one match-up at 155lbs. that the ATT fighter admits will either keep him competing at lightweight for the time being, or someday prompt his return to the division. For some time now, Miller and Donald Cerrone have publicly voiced their disdain for each other, and both men have called for an opportunity to settle their feud in the Octagon.
“I’m still extremely interested in fighting him,” Miller said when asked about Cerrone, who stopped Charles Oliveira the same night he submitted O’ Brien. “He was one of the reasons I wanted to stay at lightweight before, but I talked to Joe Silva and it seems like things keep coming up. We both fought around the same time in January, but I ended up getting injured; it was a serious knee injury which kept me out for nine full weeks…Now I thought the timing was perfect because we both fought again on the same night, but here I am on the shelf again.”
“I will fight him before I die,” Miller added. “I’m not ducking him; I don’t like him, it’s going to go down. That’s something I’m going to talk to the UFC about; if I do move to 145 will I be allowed to come up if the cut doesn’t work out, or to get this grudge match out of the way?”
Miller referred to being “on the shelf again,” due to the fact that he broke his hand during his recent UFC Live 5 win over O’ Brien.
“It’s a pretty serious break because the break went all the way into the joint,” Miller told FCF. “But as far as short term recovery I have no clue how bad it is. I was supposed to go in for surgery (Monday) but they decided to take one more set of x-rays. The doctor decided that it was probably better not to have the surgery, get a cast on, and re-assess in two weeks. Then I’ll have a clearer idea as to how long I’ll be out.”
Photo courtesy American Top Team
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