Cole Miller iced his broken left hand at the UFC Fight Night 35 presser. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Cole Miller has not been shy about his intentions over the last several months.
Following his October win over Andy Ogle at UFC Fight Night 30, “Magrinho” called out Europe in general, and Conor McGregor in particular. The lanky featherweight then turned his attention to a long-standing issue with former WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone on Wednesday night after finishing Sam Sicilia at UFC Fight Night 35.
“This is not something new. This rivalry started in 2007. We’ve had a couple of out-of-the-cage altercations over the past few years,” Miller said of his relationship with Cerrone during Wednesday’s post-fight press conference at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. “When he first came into the UFC, he called me out on TV, and I wanted to return the favor. He’s been talking about coming down to 145 pounds. Talking about it is one thing. If he needed some motivation to come on down, then I gave it to him.”
Miller demolished Sicilia to open the evening’s main card, keeping the powerful brawler at the end of his long range and punishing him with punches on the way in. In the second round, the American Top Team product cracked Sicilia with a sharp left hook and floored the “TUF 15” vet with a hard right during a sequence that resulted in Miller breaking his left hand.
Even so, Miller did not waste the opportunity, grabbing a topside guillotine choke before transitioning to Sicilia’s back and cinching the fight-ending rear-naked choke. Though Miller does not yet know if his hand will require surgery, he nevertheless feels confident that when he does return to the cage that he will maintain the positive momentum gained from a 3-1 run in his last four outings.
“Training at American Top Team and working on my strength and conditioning and getting comfortable with the weight cut has made me bring my skill set together,” said Miller. “There were no psychological breakthroughs or anything like that. It was just a lot of hard work and hard training. I think if you go back and look at my 2013, you can see that I’ve been working hard. I’m developing a real comfort with my distance and dealing with short and stocky guys. That was always something that gave me trouble in the past. I could have chosen to move up -- I have the frame to be a bigger man -- or I could try to get past what was giving me problems and learn to take my attributes and [overcome] what was my Kryptonite at the time.”