Bart Palaszewski on TUF 17 Finale Bout With Cole Miller: “It’s Definitely A Must Win If I Want To Keep My Job”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Bart Palaszewski has competed in 52 bouts to date, and while a great deal of them have been pivotal, this Saturday’s, TUF 17 Finale bout with Cole Miller has got to be right up there in terms of importance. The reason being is that both accomplished vets are coming off back-to-back defeats, and in an age where highly regarded fighters like Jon Fitch are getting cut after a decision loss, Palaszewski knows that his job is also on the line.
“It’s definitely a must win if I want to keep my job,” Palaszewski noted on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “I don’t know if it’s a must win. I think we’re both in that position, where I don’t know, unless it’s going to be a brawl.”
“Like I said, if I want to keep my job it’s definitely a must win,” Palaszewski added. “I think it goes the same for Cole, but I think more for me than him, because he’s been an employee of the UFC a little bit longer. So he may get a little bit more leeway than me, but we’re definitely in a tough position.”
It’s not like Palaszewski (36-16) and Miller (18-7) are coming off stoppage defeats, however, as both men have received decision losses. In addition, both Palaszewski and Miller are known for bringing the action, which certainly helps when the UFC determines who’s on the chopping block.
“I usually don’t end up being in fights that are boring on my part”, said Palaszewski, who incurred UD losses to Hatsui Hioki and Diego Nunes last year, after knocking out Tyson Griffin in 2011. “Cole’s not really a guy that sits back; he tries to put on a good fight and obviously tries to win, but he gets out there and gets after it. So hopefully it’s a crowd pleaser and not a boring fight.”
Miller, meanwhile, is coming off a UD defeat to Steven Siler and a tightly contested split decision loss to Nam Phan last August, which marks the first time in the TUF vet’s career that he’s lost two in a row. Prior to the defeats the American Top Team fighter submitted T.J. O’Brien at a UFC Live event in 2011.
“I was happy; he’s a big name and I knew it was going to be a big fight,” Palaszewski said, when asked for his reaction upon finding out he would face Miller next. “I kind of went through a list of guys, who you know, are coming off a couple of losses just like I am and he was on the list. I didn’t figure it was going to be him but I figured it was going to be someone with an awesome streak like mine.”
Not only are both Palaszewski and Miller known for being aggressive fighters, but both men have well rounded games and aren’t shy about trading on the feet. That said, Palaszewski is likely more well known for his punching power, while Miller’s resume is replete with submission wins.
“I would like too; we’ll see how it goes,” said Palaszewski, when asked if he would prefer to keep Saturday’s fight standing. “Obviously, like you said, he came up short a little bit with pretty good strikers so I’m sure he’ll try to get it to the ground. Well, I’m not sure, but that’s what I’m thinking. Who knows; maybe he’ll come out and surprise everyone and put on a war with me. We’ll see.”
“Cole’s a great fighter and I’ve got nothing bad to say about the guy,” added the WEC vet. “It’s going to be a tough fight. Definitely for me, I don’t know if he thinks the same thing, but it’s definitely going to be a tough fight.”
To prepare for the bout, the Illinois resident has returned to Team Curran, after training for his last bout with Jackson’s MMA in New Mexico.
“When I left it was not great…we had some things to hash out,” Palaszewski relayed about his longtime trainer Jeff Curran. “We hashed them out.”
“I didn’t do it because it’s more convenient, I did because I’ve known the guy since I was 16 you know?” The 29 year-old-featherweight added. “I was a teenager and in high-school when I met him…I’ve known him for almost half my life, so I don’t be like “screw it” over some stupid argument or a couple of mistakes we both made…I’m really glad we did it.”
Saturday’s TUF 17 Finale card will be hosted by The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.