Cole Miller: “I’m Not Just in the Mix” at 145, Invites Donald Cerrone to Featherweight
After returning to the winner’s column with a second round, submission win over TJ O’Brien in August, Cole Miller was hoping to add a third fight to his annual campaign for the first time since 2006. Unfortnuately for the American Top Team fighter, a broken hand he incurred in the UFC Live 5 bout, will once again prevent Miller from competing for a third time this year. Although the break did not require surgery and Miller has recently been cleared to begin training again, the 27 year-old-veteran isn’t about to say ‘it couldn’t have been worse.’
“It’s extremely frustrating and I really can’t take anything good away from this,” Miller told FCF. “I can’t take anything good away from these injuries; it’s depressing. I’ve only fought twice a year, every year, since I got to the UFC. People don’t really hear a whole lot about it because I don’t like to complain, and I don’t really let it get it out when I have surgery or when I’m out for six months.”
Although Miller has put together an Octagon record of 7-3, since he began competing for the UFC in 2007, the veteran has been unable to put together an extended winning streak.
“I think part of my inconsistency has been a result of not being able to get enough ring time,” said Miller. “It’s really not been any one’s fault; I’ve just been extremely unlucky.”
Now that Miller has had the cast removed from his hand and has been given the green light to begin training again, the former TUF 5 competitor is eyeing February or March for his next fight.
“I’ve talked to Joe Silva and Sean Shelby about fighting in that time frame,” said Miller. “I’ve also committed myself to dropping to 145 pounds for my next fight, so that time frame would be great. I’ve already gone another six months without fighting so I could probably wait an extra month.”
When FCF caught up with Miller, following his win over O’ Brien in August, he reported that a move from lightweight to featherweight would likely take place sooner than later.
“It’s not so much because of the layoff, I’ve always been meant for 145 pounds, but the money wasn’t there,” Miller noted. “With my fighting style I’ve gotten four bonuses as far as “knockout of the night” and “submission of the night’. The WEC just didn’t have that kind of money, and my dream was to be in the UFC, so now that they’ve added the 145 division I just figure the timing is ideal right now.”
Despite being 6’1 tall, Miller was consistently an undersized and overpowered competitor at lightweight.
“People say to me ‘don’t do that to yourself man,’ ‘don’t do this cut,’ but they don’t know what I walk around at,” Miller reported. “I have to lift weights like a power lifter to maintain a 170 pound frame, and I have to eat five meals a day, and protein shakes, just to walk around at 170 constantly. After I broke my hand I dropped to 161 pounds. I don’t need a test cut and I don’t need to suffer to make 145.”
Although Miller concedes that when he’s ready to return next year, there may be only a handful of featherweights available to choose from, he’s hoping to make an immediate and well documented impact in the featherweight division.
“Ideally, I hope there’s someone to fight who’s notable,” said Miller, while discussing his prospects at 145 pounds. “I want to be able to show that I am a contender in this division, I’m not just in the mix, I am a top contender at 145.”
And with Miller now committed to featherweight, will this finally put to rest his highly publicized, running feud with noted lightweight Donald Cerrone?
“I thought I heard he was talking about coming down to 145 to fight Nam Phan,” Miller noted. “So come on. The other day he was doing an interview and made some smart ass comment about me getting my ass kicked. I’ve won three of my last four, who are you talking about dude?”