It started off simply enough, with a question about the kind of difficulties Ross Pearson would present to him in their bout on Wednesday night in Austin, Texas. But as lightweight up and comer Cole Miller responded, he wasn’t only answering the question, he was making a declaration – of intent, of his philosophy on fighting, and of war.
“I think it’s this new method of sportfighting that all these guys are doing,” said the Georgia native. “I’m not doubting that he (Pearson) has striking talent; he has definitely improved since the show (The Ultimate Fighter) and his first fight in the UFC with Andre Winner, which I think plays into my game better. I do better with more technical guys. But the thing is, he’s getting all decisions, and his one stoppage was over Aaron Riley and it was a cut stoppage. He wants to score, then clinch, and score and clinch. I’m sure this guy’s got knockout power - he’s built like a tank - but it just doesn’t seem like he’s really down to put forth that type of commitment to ending a fight. I think this is bad for the sport, it’s bad for the UFC, and I think that this is why you’re gonna start seeing more guys that are athletic, who look like action figures, and that have wrestling backgrounds coming in because they don’t have to beat you. They just gotta score their points, score their takedowns, or score their strikes and stop your takedowns, and ride out that decision. Just wait for that minute and a half left and do what you gotta do to win that round and score with those judges. That’s how I see his striking being. It’s very good, but I just don’t see him putting any passion or emotion into the fight. It might be a sport to some people, but it’s not a sport to me.”
The best part is, the 26-year old meant every word he said. He wasn’t looking to smack talk anyone or looking to become bulletin board material for his fellow lightweights. He was opening up about something near and dear to him that he believes has drifted from its initial intent. And he doesn’t care who hears about it.
“The thing is, with my go for broke style, I’ll end up being the one who gets knocked out or TKO’ed because I know that these guys aren’t gonna try to fight me,” he continues. “It’s kinda foolish and I admit that, but I kinda go after these guys too hard. I know they’re not going to fight me to finish me. It’s called mixed martial arts, but none of these guys are using martial arts. Martial arts were made to put your opponent away, not to make him last for 15 minutes. The first part of martial arts is for you to defend yourself. The second is for you to eliminate your opponent. These guys aren’t eliminating anybody, and I just don’t get it. So I have to make up for that. I gotta come at these guys and take all these risks, which leaves me open to be countered.”
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