Photo: James Law/Glory World Series
At Glory 17, Jarrell Miller will face Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, one of mixed martial arts’ most beloved figures, in the evening’s main event at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
It’s a highly-anticipated rematch for “Big Baby,” who lost a contentious decision to the former Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride FC star under the K-1 banner last year.
Over the course of his 23-fight professional kickboxing career, Miller has also earned notable triumphs over UFC talents past (Pat Barry) and present (Jack May). However, no matter how his return date with Filipovic plays out, the 25-year-old has no interest in adding MMA to his list of endeavors, which so far also includes professional boxing.
Once upon a time MMA was a realistic option, but after he signed with K-1, Miller says he thought better of stepping into the cage.
“I did before I signed with K-1 because boxing was slow at the time. But at this point in my career: Nope. Definitely not,” Miller told Sherdog.com. “Just because the money those guys are getting and the injuries….Listen, 99.9 percent of guys that finish their MMA career, the only thing they can do is open a gym and maybe coach, just because their face and their ears are deformed.
“I’m young, I’m still undefeated in boxing, to me I’m undefeated in kickboxing and I’m gorgeous. After my career I want to do something with my life -- maybe act. MMA guys can’t do that.”
While Miller overlooks the role cauliflower-eared former UFC champ Randy Couture has played in the popular “Expendables” series, as well as a few other MMA-to-Hollywood success stories, his distaste for MMA also stems from the sport’s hierarchal structure, namely a certain foul-mouthed executive at the top.
“I’m not gonna be Dana White’s puppet,” Miller said. “Hell no. I’ve worked too hard.”
In addition, Miller claims that his paychecks are far better competing for the likes of Glory and K-1 than they would be if he was under UFC contract.
“Kickboxing is paying probably three times more than what some of the guys you see on TV in MMA are making,” he said. “That’s what I like about Glory, because that alone is gonna attract more fighters ... They understand the brand they have, and they understand and respect the fighters. If you have no fighters, you have no brand to promote. You’ve got to take care of the fighters.”