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Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

Miller Surprised but Willing to Fight Friend in Wiman

By Kelsey Mowatt, photo courtesy American Top Team
Cole Miller is once again riding a wave of momentum as he heads into his January 22nd, “Fight for the Troops” with Matt Wiman, as the American Top Team lightweight is coming off an impressive, second round submission victory over former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ross Pearson. In fact, according to Miller, the September win was so important; the 17-4 fighter was somewhat perplexed when he received the news that he would face Wiman next.
“When I first got the call I can’t say I was super motivated to hear I was fighting Wiman,” Miller told FCF. “I was kind of expecting a different route. I thought that after beating Ross Pearson I was going to get a bigger name, as far as contenders are concerned. I think he was probably expecting the same after his win over Mac Danzig. I think they tried to do a rematch there but with injuries or whatever, it just didn’t work out.”
Miller mentioned his initial lack of motivation upon finding out he would take on Wiman, who apparently has been friends with the 26 year-old Miller, even before they were cast mates on the fifth season of TUF.
“We were friends before the show,” said Miller about Wiman (12-5). “I had already known Matt prior to being on “The Ultimate Fighter”, so on the show we got along great. He’s one of the guys I continue to stay in touch with; we talk on the phone several times a year. If I see him at an event we usually end up hanging out. It’s not going to be a factor though for this fight.”
Like Miller, who tapped out Dan Lauzon with a first round, kimura prior to facing Pearson, Wiman is also coming off back-to-back wins. Prior to his submission win over Danzig, which was stopped prematurely and ended in controversy, Wiman scored a unanimous decision win over Shane Nelson. The victories reversed a two fight losing skid for the 27 year-old, which saw him lose by UD to Sam Stout and rising contender, Jim Miller.
“I think that our ground skills are comparable,” Miller noted while assessing the abilities of Wiman. “Whether or not he’s as good as me on the ground doesn’t matter; I think the levels are close enough to where it’s going to be hard to tell. I think really for this fight it’s going to be who is in the best shape.”
“He’s strong for the weight; he’s got some decent wrestling, and he’s got a good, solid ground game,” Miller added. “His striking, although not as technical as mine and polished, he throws heavy leather. He throws with bad intention.”
Wiman’s aforementioned bout with Danzig marked the only time he competed in 2010, meaning that by the time the veteran faces Miller later this month, he will have only fought once since December 12th, 2009.
“It’s hard to say,” said Miller when asked if he believes cage rust may play a factor in the bout. “Every individual is different. Sometimes ring rust can be beneficial; it’s like someone coming in like a cage animal, whose been caged for too long and they just unleash. On the opposite side of that spectrum, sometimes ring rust can be bad, they’re reluctant to let punches go; they don’t have their timing and they’re reluctant to commit. It’s hard to say which way Matt will be; I don’t think he’s had this kind of ring rust before. I can’t really say.”
While Miller is focusing his efforts on defeating Wiman, January 22nd, it will be interesting to see who the UFC might match him up against next, provided he soon records his seventh Octagon win. Due to several call outs from Donald Cerrone, who reportedly is looking to avenge Miller’s 2007 victory over teammate Leonard Garcia, a bout with the WEC vet could be in cards.
“I know it sounds really cliché, but it’s up to the UFC. I’ve started thinking about what I want though and I think I want to fight “Cowboy”, said Miller in referring Cerrone. “I just want to fight this guy; I’ve been wanting to fight him for a long time, he’s been wanting to fight me for a long time.”
“But then part of me thinks the only thing better than me kicking his ass is if Paul Kelly knocks him the f—k out and he never gets to deserve to fight me,” Miller added. “So I’ve been thinking about that; you never want to take a step backwards after taking a big leap…At the same time, I’m a man and I’m a fighter and that’s something I want. I want to go in there and I want to fight this guy.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 12:45 pm
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