Cole Miller on TUF 17 Finale Opponent Bart Palaszewski: “I’m Glad to be Fighting Somebody Who Believes in Fighting”
TUF Vet Sees Bout as a “Must Win”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Nearly six years have gone by since Cole Miller stopped Andy Wang at the TUF 5 Finale to officially begin his UFC tenure, and as the vet prepares for his bout with Bart Palaszewski this Saturday, he knows his memorable run with the UFC could be on the line. Miller is coming off back-to-back decision losses to Steven Siler and Nam Phan, and despite the fact both fights were competitive and entertaining affairs, the UFC doesn’t typically retain fighters who have lost three straight.
“You know what, I felt like it was a must win for my last fight,” Miller told Full Contact Fighter, while discussing the split decision loss he suffered versus Phan last August. “I think if my fight wasn’t as close and competitive, and as enjoyable for the fans as my last fight was, that I wouldn’t be fighting Bart right now. I’d be unemployed.”
Palaszewski is also coming off two defeats via decision, and he relayed to FCF recently as well, that he believes another loss will likely bring about his dismissal.
“I definitely feel like this is a must win,” Miller said. “Anytime I’m coming off a loss I think it’s a must win. I don’t think the UFC sees me or is playing favorites with me. Do I think they like me and respect me? I sure do. I think it’s because I fight the way I fight.”
“I’ve got a “Knockout of the Night” and three “Submissions of the Night”,” added Miller, who has gone 7-5 to date in 12 Octagon appearances. “And for the same reasons that Bart said he respects me for always bringing the fight to the opponent, and coming forward, I think that the UFC respects that also. Do I think if I lose that they’re going to send me packing? I sure f—in do.”
Anyone who has followed the career of both Miller and Palaszewski knows that the rugged veterans aren’t known for having conservative approaches. As a result of their aggressive styles, bouts involving either man are typically fights you don’t want to miss.
“I’m glad to be fighting somebody who believes in fighting and bringing the fight to his opponent like Bart does,” said Miller, in echoing the sentiments of Palaszewski, who while speaking to FCF credited him for trying to put on “good fights” and getting “after it”.
The April 13th bout also has “Fight of the Night” potential due to the skillset of each fighter.
“He’s one of these guys who’s extremely well rounded,” Miller said about his upcoming opponent. “You hear that a lot today, and to what degree is this person well rounded? Well, with Bart, you can tell that he does have some Western Boxing experience, along with some really strong leg kicks, and he’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.”
“He’s always in shape, and you see that because he’s extremely hard to finish,” added the 28 year-old Miller. “He’s not a stranger to going all three rounds, and he’s very experienced with 50 fights. He’s a true fighter.”
As a result of Palaszewski’s (36-16) diversified attack, as well as his own, the vet does not believe their bout will necessarily be determined by either Palaszewski’s striking or Miller’s (18-7) submission game.
“That’s definitely a generalization,” said Miller, whose last five wins have come via tap-out, while Palaszewski has recorded KO wins over Tyson Griffin and Zachary Micklewright in his last two victories. “You see glimpses of what people are capable of here and there.”
“Like my fight with Ross Pearson, for instance, everybody thought he was going to kick my ass on the feet, but I was able to have a good fight standing…or my last fight with Nam Phan, I don’t even know how many punches were thrown….but you’ve definitely seen him demonstrate some power with his knockout and TKO wins, and you’ve definitely seen a lot of submissions on my end. On paper that’s what it looks like but we won’t know until we get in there.”
You can hear the entire conversation with Miller in this week’s edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio.