Cole Miller shared his opinions on Conor McGregor with the Sherdog Radio Network. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Last weekend’s UFC Fight Night in Dublin was originally slated to feature a main event of Conor McGregor versus Cole Miller, but when Miller was forced to withdraw due to injury, plans changed.
Since McGregor’s first-round stoppage of replacement opponent Diego Brandao, the mixed martial arts world has had a field day discussing whom the “Notorious” Irishman should fight next.
During a Monday appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s ”Beatdown” show, Miller touched on all things UFC featherweight. With Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes set to fight in the near future, the rest of the 145-pound picture remains muddied. One thing is for sure: Miller doesn’t believe McGregor deserves to leapfrog anyone.
“I think that Conor is good for the weight class,” Miller said. “People like him or they don’t like him. Whether they’re going to repeat what Dana’s already said about him, or whether they’re going to develop their own opinion. Like you said, you don’t think he’s ready for a top-five contender yet. I think that’s coming from an educated person who’s been involved in mixed martial arts for over a decade, but these fans are already talking about whether he is or not. That’s something we’ve never seen before.
“I don’t think Jose Aldo is that big of a draw amongst the fighters. Everyone’s always looking for the gold, and he’s the best, but I don’t get a good vibe from fans. Nobody really wants to watch Aldo fight.”
As for McGregor’s performance this past Saturday, Miller explained that there were other factors to take into account.
“I thought he looked pretty solid. It’s pretty easy to look good when everything’s made for you to look good. He got to fight in his hometown with all those people there supporting him. He got a full camp of preparation when his opponent didn’t,” Miller said. “I don’t think anyone can really judge Diego. He got in there and, like I said, he didn’t get his full camp.”
McGregor has undeniable skills on the microphone, but his recent surge in popularity has drawn comparisons from UFC President Dana White to women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
“I think when these people are spoon-fed what their opinions should be, they start saying the same stuff they’ve already been hearing from the UFC and the brass,” said Miller. “I did see something where Dana said Conor reminds him of Ronda Rousey. That’s a pretty bold statement. I told my brother they’re both blonde. That must be it.”
With McGregor and Dustin Poirier slated to fight in Las Vegas at UFC 178 on Sept. 27, Miller doesn’t feel as if McGregor has what it takes to duplicate the type of success he has achieved when fighting in Dublin.
“In the post-fight speech, there was stuff I couldn’t hear. Not because I couldn’t understand him, but because the crowd was so loud. If he were over here, the crowd wouldn’t have been into it like it was. The walkout, the lights going black, the Irish flag popping up -- that wouldn’t have been able to be replicated over here.”
That said, “Magrinho” did co-sign on the pairing of Poirier and McGregor.
“I think Poirier’s been working real hard and doing some real impressive things in the division,” said Miller. “I think he’s ready for a Frankie Edgar or [Cub] Swanson or [Chad] Mendes. [UFC] is obviously trying to build the McGregor fight, and I don’t think [McGregor] deserves it, but I don’t think he deserves a lot of things he’s gotten.”