UFC featherweight Cole Miller has called the Octagon home for a little less than six years, putting together an 8-4 mark over the run including wins against Jorge Gurgel, Leonard Garcia, Ross Pearson, and most recently Bart Palaszewski. With a winning record and established fanbase it might seem like Miller would be flying high. However, Miller understands MMA is a results-oriented business and there’s a good chance he would be a free agent right now had he come up short against Palaszewski at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
The 29-year old spoke candidly about his career in a recent interview with MixedMartialArts.com where he confessed to MMA being a means to an end rather than something he genuinely enjoyed doing.
“Let me say that I am lucky to have the job I do, but it didn’t just get thrown in my lap. I know how many people wish they could do what I do at this level I am doing it at. But fighting is not enjoyable any more. It’s stressful,” Miller admitted. “These are hard times and they are not getting any easier. Now I’m not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me, and I’m certainly not complaining. This is the life I chose and have built for myself, but it is not enjoyable to be fighting for your job after two losses in a row. Now if I was six for my last seven, and not getting injured, and fighting three times minimum every year, I’d probably have a different outlook. But this job hurts. I experience a full spectrum of emotional and physical pains and successes.”
“It means more to me to be a martial artist,” he explained. “That is real satisfaction. That is enjoyable. Learning new things and techniques, perfecting my craft, helping others get better and, in the process, seeing them being able to reach their goals and potentials – these are the things that are the most enjoyable for me.”
Ever the realist, Miller may deal with anxiety attached to his chosen profession but knows it’s where his bread is buttered. As such, he’s itching to get back in the cage but doesn’t have a specific foe in mind, and, apparently, he wouldn’t mention the name if he did anyways given his current circumstances.
“I would like to fight by the end of August. And I don’t really have a preference on who I would want to fight. I just saved my job. I don’t think I’m in any sort of position to be calling people out,” said Miller, adding, “I also have never been a rematch guy. I think someone asking for a rematch, unless it was a split decision or had some crazy ending, is a very amateur thing to do. Look forward and learn from your mistakes.”
Miller is 19-7 in his career with fourteen submissions and three TKOs.