Cole Miller doesn’t mince words when critiquing his UFC career thus far.
“I feel like my job’s never safe,” he told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’m too inconsistent of a fighter. I show up looking like garbage sometimes. I show up looking like a contender sometimes. I’m just trying to find that consistency and put it together.”
Miller has lost two of his last three in the Octagon. Most recently he dropped a unanimous decision to Steven Siler at UFC on FX 2.
“I think sometimes it’s a motivation thing,” Miller said. “I think sometimes it’s an injury-related thing. I think sometimes it’s a personal-issues-going-on-in-your-life kind of thing. I think there’s a lot of factors that play into it at different times in your life and in your career. I feel like my back’s a little bit against the wall. Anytime I’m coming off a loss, I feel like that.”
Each time Miller has lost in the UFC he has bounced back with a win. He’ll get another opportunity to rebound Saturday when he takes on Nam Phan at UFC on Fox 4.
“I’m coming into the guy’s hometown to fight him,” said Miller, who meets Phan at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “He’s coming off a loss and I know that he’s not trying to upset the hometown fans. I took that into consideration in my preparation and I made sure I was 100 percent.”
Miller recently ran into his opponent at the UFC fighter summit in Las Vegas, and Phan was taken aback by his size, calling Miller a “giant.” Miller, who stands a tall 6-foot-1 for the featherweight division, also noticed a size discrepancy.
“I honestly expected him to be pretty short, but I was kind of more surprised with the weight department,” Miller said. “I felt like I was just bigger. Not just taller. I felt like I had more weight on me than he did as well, but obviously those types of things change when you’ve got to cut the weight for the fight.”
Miller moved to 145 pounds for his March bout against Siler. The cut itself wasn’t bad, but he said his body did struggle to recover come fight time.
“I felt pretty strong, but I definitely didn’t feel very fast and I didn’t feel very motivated, which wasn’t a problem in my training camp in the week leading up to the bout,” Miller said. “When I got in there, I was kind of just going through the motions, but my mind wanted me to do more. My body just wasn’t getting it going.”
That fight was in Sydney, Australia, and being abroad may have hampered Miller’s ability to recuperate from the weight cut. Regardless, he’ll be looking to deliver a better performance Saturday against Phan.
“It’s time to get nasty,” Miller said. “With his style, he moves forward. I predominantly -- at least when I win -- I move forward. So hopefully we’re going to meet in the middle. Hopefully fans will like it and hopefully I won’t suck.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 15:15).