Cole Miller On Fighting Infrequently: “That’s The Way It Is When You’re Always Breaking Stuff”
Fighting Steven Siler, Who Defeated Brother Micah, at UFC 144
By Kelsey Mowatt
Despite finishing his 2012 campaign on a winning note, Cole Miller was far from thrilled about spending the remainder of the year on the sidelines, due to the broken hand he incurred during his submission win over T.J. O’Brien last August. Making the most of a bad situation, the ATT fighter decided that the timing was finally right to make the drop to 145 pounds, and was subsequently given a bout with featherweight Steven Siler at UFC 144.
“I guess I’m just glad to be fighting again,” said Miller, who has been prevented from fighting more than twice annually for several years now due to injuries. “It will be nice to go out and do something to make some money. It’s just frustrating only fighting every six months but that’s the way it is when you’re always breaking stuff.”
Although in Siler, Miller will face a fellow TUF alumni and a veteran of nearly 30 bouts, the featherweight has officially fought just once in the Octagon. Last December, at the TUF 14 Finale, Siler worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Josh Clopton.
“I’m okay with it,” said Miller (18-5), while discussing his reaction upon finding out that he would be Siler’s second opponent in the UFC. “This is my first fight at 145 so I have to prove myself just like everybody else.”
“It was surprisingly easier than I thought it was going to be,” The 6’1 tall Miller added about cutting down from lightweight. “The weight just kind of came off.”
One of the interesting pre-fight story lines heading into the February 25th bout is the fact that Siler scored a submission win over Miller’s younger brother Micah, to gain entrance into the TUF 14 house.
“Maybe; it’s a preliminary fight so I don’t really know if that’s a big issue,” said Miller, when asked if he thought Siler’s previous win over Micah, played into the UFC’s matchmaking decision. “I’m sure a lot of people might want to see the fight because of that, but this isn’t a contender fight or anything, so I don’t know if that’s really a hardcore angle.”
“Not really,” Miller added, when asked if Siler’s victory over his brother has provided additional motivation for him. “At first I wasn’t too excited because If I beat this guy, it makes my brother not look so good, and my brother had food poisoning when he fought him. But I’m excited to fight him now, I don’t want to say I’m not, but I’m not excited to fight him for that reason.”
Prior to competing on TUF 14, the only men to defeat Siler (19-9) in his previous ten fights were Cole Escovedo and Chad Mendes.
“In each fight he kind of shows something a little bit different. He’s fought different opponents with different attributes,” said Miller, who has defeated the likes of Ross Pearson, Jorge Gurgel and Dan Lauzon during his UFC tenure. “He’s a tough guy. Walks forward a lot. He seems to be pretty decent at everything, about the same level at everything. He’ll stand, go for takedowns and go to the ground too.”
When Miller informed FCF in November that he was planning to drop to featherweight, the 27 year-old-fighter added that he was confident he would be a “top contender” in the division.
“I think I can move up pretty swiftly,” said Miller. “Assuming that I can get through Steven Siler, I want to continue to move up significantly each level of opponent as I get the wins. By the end of 2012 I want to be right up there.”