UFC’s Cole Miller Talks Max Holloway, Believes Latter Won’t Want to Face The “Best Jiu-Jitsu Player at 145” on The Ground
By Kelsey Mowatt
After a thumb injury cost Cole Miller his opportunity to derail the massive, hype train of Conor McGregor in July, the featherweight’s been booked for another fight that could raise his ranking.
Recently, the UFC announced that Miller will face Max Holloway on February 14th, when the promotion returns to Colorado for a Fight Night card. While Holloway isn’t knocking on the title shot door like McGregor, he has won four straight fights since he was decisioned by the latter in August, 2013.
As a result of his recent victories, which have all been finishes, Holloway has moved into the #14 ranking spot. Now, Miller is hoping to end Holloway’s run, and blast his way up the rankings as well.
“I think it’s, like you just said, it will put me in the top 15, but I’m not so much just concerned with kind of doing enough to get in there,” Miller said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I want to make sure I finish him and that I do it impressively, so that, that way I can get into the top 10, which is where I think I belong.”
Holloway is coming off a first round, KO win over Akira Corassani in October, after putting away Clay Collard with strikes in the third round, when they fought in August. While the 22 year-old has impressed in various ways, it’s been Holloway’s striking skills in particular that have drawn praise.
“Yeah, he’s definitely more of a striker than he is a grappler,” said Miller. “But like you said, he’s well rounded, he’s dangerous everywhere. The fact that he strives for the finish, that makes him even more dangerous. You’ve gotta worry about a guy that isn’t afraid to kind of just like, take a bunch of risks. Where if he was to fail on some sort of attempt, whether it be striking or grappling, it would put him in a bad position.”
“So these guys that fight like this, kind of reckless, you’ve always got to worry about,” the 30 year-old, BJJ black belt furthered. “But I definitely have more of an advantage on the ground. I think everybody knows that. I think that most people, if you know what’s going on, I think everybody knows that I’m the best jiu-jitsu player at 145 pounds. So I think that he’ll probably, definitely not want to go to the ground, but I think on the feet…it’s a lot closer on the feet then it would be on the floor.”
While some will be tempted to apply the “striker versus grappler” narrative to the fight, Miller believes that short sells his own striking abilities.
“I think that a lot of people forget, some people just go and look at my record, and see submission wins, and a lot of those submission wins come from the guard,” the American Top Team fighter noted. “I think that if you kind of know what you’re talking about, you’ll see, how is Cole getting these submission wins from his back? Well, they must be taking him down. Well, why are they taking him down? It’s because Cole’s beating them on their feet.”
“Several of my past fights, a lot of my submission wins have come right after I dropped my opponent on the feet,” furthered Miller, who is coming off a second round, tap-out win over Sam Sicilia in January. “I’m not one of those guys who tries to, I don’t get tunnel vision, and just see the knockout. When I drop somebody, you know I jump on top of them, throw a couple of punches, and look for a submission of the neck, or if a limb of some sort is there I just fall back on that.”
Miller-Holloway will be part of UFC Fight Night 60, which will be hosted by Broomfield, Colorado’s 1st Bank Center.