Cole Miller’s Ready to Battle Manny Gamburyan’s “Bowling Ball” Approach at UFC FN 26
By Kelsey Mowatt
In April, Cole Miller ensured he would continue to compete under the UFC banner, as he has now since 2007, by tapping out Bart Palaszewski in the first round. The win halted the featherweight’s two fight losing streak, and landed him a bout with Manny Gamburyan this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 26. Although it wasn’t a fight that was on Miller’s radar, the rugged vet says he’s ready to go to work.
“I guess I was just kind of more surprised than anything,” Miller said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his reaction to the news that he would fight Gamburyan next. “I never really thought I was going to cross paths with him I guess. It wasn’t excitement, it wasn’t frustration, or sadness, it was just kind of like ‘alright, here we go, time to fight again.”
Gamburyan almost certainly saved his UFC roster spot at UFC on FOX 4 last August, by working his way to a unanimous decision win over Michihiro Omigawa. The victory ended a three fight losing streak for the 32 year-old fighter.
“Probably, most likely it did,” said Miller, when asked if their recent losses could be why the UFC booked the bout. “I imagine they make their match-ups according to how they make them. You never see a guy with back-to-back losses, coming off one win, fighting a guy that’s won five straight.”
Although Miller is 6’1 tall, the veteran decided to drop down from lightweight last year, due to his contention he’s undersized for the division. In Gamburyan, Miller will face a featherweight who is 5’5 tall, and as a result, the American Top Team fighter should have a considerable reach advantage.
“It gets to a point where having too much reach is a bad thing,” said the 29 year-old Miller. “You don’t want to fight guys like Manny, or as short as Manny that have no arms, no legs and no neck for you to choke on either. You know what I’m saying?”
“For the stand-up part, it’s definitely one of those things, on paper at least…stylistically he does pose some threats,” Miller added. “He’s got that bowling ball type of stand-up, he’s just coming forward. He’s going to be throwing the overhands, the uppercuts, and things like that over my straight long punches. Those are things I’ve got to look out for.”
Gamburyan is also a third degree black belt in Judo and is a decorated competitor in the sport. It’s also worth that “The Anvil” has never been submitted in 19 bouts, while the BJJ black belt Miller, has recorded 14 during his lengthy career.
“I’ve fought guys with a Judo background before, and I’ve trained with guys who’ve had a Judo background before, but I’ve never fought a Judo guy that has his build. So that’s going to be something new. To fight a guy that has a Judo background with his build, and height.”
“He was on my team during “The Ultimate Fighter”,” Miller added about his fellow TUF 5 alumni. “I trained a lot with him, and he was really generous with his knowledge. He taught me a lot about footlocks and things like that. He’s very knowledgeable on the ground with his catch-wrestling and Judo.”
UFC Fight Night 26 will be hosted by Boston’s TD Garden Arena and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.